A Study of First Year Students Attitude towards HIV and AIDS

  •  Geraldine Kikwasi    
  •  Sophia R. Lukwale    
  •  Eleuther A. Mwageni    


INTRODUCTION: Attitude towards HIV and AIDS has been a concern in a number of researches undertaken in the area of HIV and AIDS. Attitude towards HIV and AIDS has two dimensions mainly positive and negative that influence stigma and discrimination towards People Living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA). The objective of this paper is to determine students’ attitude towards HIV and AIDS when they start university life.

METHOD: The study has employed a longitudinal study design in which data was collected in two phases. This paper presents the results of phase I with the population of the study being all 1st year Ardhi University undergraduate students 2011/12. A sample size of 625 students was determined by using Survey System Package available free on the internet. Stratified random sampling was employed whereby students were categorized into schools and selected proportionately by sex. Data was collected through literature review and questionnaires and analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software package version 20.0.

RESULTS: Results of the study reveal that a relatively high number of students exhibits negative attitude towards PLWHA and to other attitudinal indicators. Within gender, negative Attitude towards HIV and AIDS was noticeable in male compared to female though the difference was not statistically significant. Across schools, School of Architecture and Design (SADE) has a relatively high number of students with negative attitude towards HIV and AIDS of all schools and, generally, the difference in positive and negative attitudes across schools was statistically significant.

CONCLUSIONS: Studies reviewed disclose negative attitude towards PLWHA in varying aspects at considerable levels. The present study also concludes that significant levels of stigma and discrimination against PLWHA still exist among students.

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