KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDE AND PRACTICE OF PREVENTION OF SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS AMONG UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS
Background of the study
Sexual and reproductive health and well-being are required for people to enjoy responsible, safe, and happy sexual lives. Sexual health necessitates a positive attitude towards human sexuality as well as a grasp of the various elements that influence human sexual behaviour. Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) are a major source of concern for world health. There are over 25 known sexually transmitted viral, bacterial, protozoa, and pathogenic illnesses or infections (Holmes, Sparling, and Stamm, 2018).
Surprisingly, sexually transmitted infections (STDs) among teenagers have arisen as a major concern, notably with policymakers, health-care professionals, families, communities, and people (Zin, Ishak & Manoharan, 2019). Every day, nearly a million individuals worldwide get a sexually transmitted illness (STI). Every year, an estimated 357 million people worldwide become infected with one of the four STIs: chlamydia (131 million), gonorrhoea (78 million), syphilis (5.6 million), or trichomoniasis (143 million) (WHO, 2016). Every year, over 20 million new cases of STIs are recorded in the United States, with the majority occurring among those aged 15 to 24. (CDC, 2018).
Significantly, the average age of undergraduates at admission at every university (based on 2013/2014 session student bio-data) is 19.5 years, rising to 23.5 years after a four-year period when the majority of non-medical students are likely to graduate. According to World Health Organization categorization, college students might be categorized as adolescent or youth. Teenagers and teens have been and continue to be the greatest group affected by the repercussions of STIs. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), STIs have a particularly high impact on young individuals. According to the CDC, youngsters aged 15 to 24 account for slightly more than one-quarter of the sexually active population. According to Dianne (2009), young individuals of college age account for around half of new STI cases. STIs are more common during the college years.
According to the 2018 Nigerian National Demographic Health Survey (NDHS), 13% of young males and 1% of young women aged 15 to 49 years had many sexual partners. Sixteen percent of males and 27% of nevermarried, divorced, separated, or widowed women had sexual relations with someone who was not their husband or lived with them (National Population Commission, 2019). As a result, adolescent pregnancy, unsafe abortion, reproductive tract diseases, sexually transmitted illnesses, and HIV are all common outcomes (Jain, Jain, Patil & Bang, 2016).
The societal impact of STIs on health is significant. STIs can last a lifetime, cause stress in relationships, have substantial medical consequences, impede fertility, cause birth deformities, and lead to catastrophic disease and death (Dianne, 2009). Because of sickness, victims lose quality work time, making them more reliant than autonomous. Although many illnesses have cures, many teenagers inadvertently transfer them to their sexual relationships. This is typically due to a lack of understanding or an inability to assess risk (i.e. negative attitude to possible risks). Infections can occur as a result of unintentional intercourse, poor sexual activity, and inconsistent or non-use of latex. In many respects, financial rewards and other societal limitations have also led to the increase of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), particularly among teenagers.
Statement of the problem
Sexually transmitted illnesses are a serious public health concern today, given the global mobility of people and the changing nature of culture as a result of contacts between diverse ethno-racial groups and the development of technology. Despite all of the precautions put in place to limit the threat of STIs over the years, instances have risen year after year, with adolescents and youths bearing the brunt of the burden. The reasons for this are that adolescents and youths are more careless about sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Youths and teenagers are predisposed to all types of STIs, including HIV, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and Genital Warts, Hepatitis, Chancroid, Trichomoniasis, Herpes, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Bacterial Vaginosis (BV), Syphilis, and Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), to name a few. STIs have serious effects, ranging from infertility to agony to early death. The economic impact cannot be overstated, with the majority of incidences occurring between the ages of 15 and 44, which are also the productive years of a person's life. According to Anyanwu (2022), despite the growing numbers of new cases of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) among teenagers and adolescents each year, most strategies aimed to combat them have been rather ineffective. Most interventions, while primarily intended to improve behaviour, fail to address the level of information and underlying attitudes that adolescents and youths may have concerning STIs.
According to Zin, Ishak, and Manoharan (2019), young people are afraid to obtain suggested tests because of a lack of knowledge or a negative attitude, and they frequently do not want to communicate honestly and freely with medical practitioners. Except for HIV, which has put the whole world on high alert, the expense of excellent and in-depth testing is sometimes too expensive, making testing unavailable or inaccessible. When victims are prescribed antibiotics or antiretroviral medications to cure their illnesses, many fail to follow the prescription or discontinue use halfway through. Pathogens of these illnesses have become more resistant as a result of this mindset. Against this backdrop the study seeks to examine knowledge, attitude and practice of prevention of sexually transmitted infections among undergraduate students
1.3 Objective of the study
The broad objective of this study is focused on knowledge, attitude and practice of prevention of sexually transmitted infections among undergraduate students. Othe objectives includes
To investigate the Level of knowledge of Sexually Transmitted Diseases of Undergraduates in UniBen
To examine the Attitude of the undergraduates towards sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
To find out practice of undergraduates towards sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) prevention.
1.4 Research Question
What is the Level of knowledge of Sexually Transmitted Diseases of Undergraduates in UniBen?
What is the attitude of the undergraduates towards sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)?
What are the practices of undergraduates towards prevention of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)?
1.5 Significance of the study
This study when concluded will provide information on the knowledge, attitude and practice towards sexually transmitted diseases among undergraduate students. The information can be used by the university management in instituting appropriate preventive measures as well as planning for the educational needs of the students regarding the prevention and management of sexually transmitted diseases. The study will draw the attention of the policymakers and government on health planning. The study will give room for further research studies on this topic.Empirically, the study will also be an addition to the academic world as it will provide materials for other researchers to make reference to when conducting research on a similar subject matter.
1.6 Scope of the study
The scope of this study borders on knowledge, attitude and practice of prevention of sexually transmitted infections among undergraduate students.The study is however delimited to undergraduate student in University of Benin, Edo State.
1.7 Limitation of the study
Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. The significant constraint was the bulky literature on the subject, owing that knowledge, attitude and practice towards sexually transmitted diseases among undergraduate students discourse is vast thus the researcher incurred more financial expenses and much time was required in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size covering only undergraduate students in UNIBEN. Thus findings of this study cannot be used for generalization for other states within Nigeria. Additionally, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work will impede maximum devotion to the research. Howbeit, despite the constraint encountered during the research, all factors were downplayed in other to give the best and make the research successful.