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College students in Nigeria underestimate their risk of contracting HIV/AIDS infection

Kayode T. Ijadunola, Obafemi Awolowo University
Titilayo Abiona, Obafemi Awolowo University
Yinyinade Ijadunola, Obafemi Awolowo University

This study aimed at determining the correlates of perceptions of personal risk of HIV/AIDS infection among students of selected tertiary institutions in Nigeria. The study employed a cross-sectional descriptive design. Correlates of perceptions of personal risk of HIV infection were evaluated using multiple logistic regression analysis, confidence intervals and odd ratios. Only 15% of the students perceived themselves to be at moderate-to-high risk of acquiring HIV infection compared with 85% who perceived themselves to be at little or no risk. Investigators’ assessment of risk status of the participants revealed that 77% of the them were actually at high risk of infection compared with only 33% that were at low risk. The only significant correlate of self perception of personal risk was recent symptoms of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). College students exhibited high rates of HIV risk indicators but low levels of perceived personal risk of infection in favour of an “optimism bias”.

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Presented in Poster Session 2