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Citation Information

Type Thesis or Dissertation - Master in Public Health
Title Knowledge of HIV/AIDS, related attitudes and participation in risky sexual behaviour among first and fourth year female students at the University of Botswana.
Author(s)
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2012
URL http://wiredspace.wits.ac.za/bitstream/handle/10539/11328/G. Cavric MPH Theses 28 March​2011.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
Abstract
Introduction
Botswana still has the second highest HIV prevalence in the world with little indication of any significant decline. In
Botswana, women are disproportionately affected: young women account for more than half (58 %) of the adults
living with HIV thus indicating a significant gender disparity in HIV infection. University educated, urban young
women aged 19-39 have been identified as group at particularly high risk of HIV infection.
Aim
This study aimed to assess knowledge and attitudes regarding HIV and AIDS and how such knowledge and
attitudes have implications for participation in risky sexual behavior among female University of Botswana
students in their first and fourth years of study.
Methodology
This study was conducted at the University of Botswana (UB) in Gaborone. Data was collected using a selfadministered
questionnaire on Knowledge of HIV/AIDS and participation in Risky Sexual Behavior among female
students in first and fourth year of studies at University of Botswana.
Results
The knowledge regarding the “window period” and infectivity during the window period was significantly lower for
first year students compared to fourth years. Attitudes towards people with HIV were positive in both groups,
while affirmative attitudes towards premarital sex are increasing as the students progress academically.
The analyses highlight that the percentage of women who reported having been sexually active the proceeding
year was significantly higher among fourth year students (82.6%) than their first year counterparts (56.9 %),
(p<0.01), with the number of partners significantly higher among women in their fourth year.
Significantly, 3% of first year female students stated that their partners did not want to use a condom while 7
percent of the participants themselves said that that was the case. Amongst fourth year UB female students
responding, 4% said that their partners did not want to use a condom, yet 14% participant said that they
themselves did not want to use one.
Overall, the prevalence of self-reported STI’s was significantly higher among fourth year students when compared
with first year students 19 of 155 [12.26% ]vs. 4 of 144 [2.78 %] p<0.01 .
Conclusion
This study explored the knowledge of HIV/AIDS and participation in risky sexual behavior amongst female students
in their first and fourth years at the University of Botswana. The study supported the findings that higher levels of
formal education are associated with better knowledge of how to protect oneself from HIV/AIDS transmission.
Although many HIV/AIDS prevention campaigns might have contributed to educated women being knowledgeable
about how to protect themselves from HIV/AIDS transmission and the importance from abstaining from risky
sexual behavior, a small but significant proportion of women still do not use condoms consistently.

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