Examining young people’s perceptions of HIV risks in Nyanza, Kenya: the impact of school and community level factors

Eric Tenkorang, Memorial University
Eleanor Maticka-Tyndale, University of Windsor

Majority of studies examining the relationship between risk perception and sexual behaviors, have focused on the later with limited emphasis on the former as an outcome variable. More importantly, the few studies that examined risk perception and its determinants limited their analysis to individual-level measures failing to capture how school and community level factors contribute to shaping perceptions of HIV risks. Using data collected from secondary school youth in Nyanza, Kenya this study examined the effects of both individual and school/community level factors on perceived risks of contracting HIV. For boys, high risk perception was associated with higher knowledge about HIV, rejecting myths surrounding HIV transmission, higher condom use self-efficacy and sexual risks. For girls, it was sexual pressure, sexual risks and knowing someone infected with HIV that resulted in increased risk perceptions. Boys and girls in communities with higher estimates of AIDS deaths reported higher risk perceptions.

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Presented in Session 92: Reproductive health and rights issues