Sex education, knowledge, attitudes and behavior of adolescents towards HIV/AIDS in Ghana

Akwasi Kumi-Kyereme, University of Cape Coast
Alex C. Ezeh, African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC)

The aim of this paper is to examine differences in HIV/AIDS knowledge, attitudes and behaviour of adolescents who have ever attended sex education classes and those who have not. This paper draws from 2004 nationally representative household-based survey of 4548 adolescents aged 12-19 years in Ghana. Logistic regression models are used to examine associations of knowledge, attitudes and behavior related to HIV/AIDS and attendance at sex education classes. The results show that majority of adolescents have accurate knowledge about the modes of HIV/AIDS transmission even though misconceptions are common. Adolescents generally have negative attitudes towards people living with AIDS. Attendance at sex education classes significantly affects adolescents’ misconceptions and attitudes but not their behavior. To the extent that knowledge and attitudes can inform future behavior, we could expect attendance at sex education classes to ultimately influence adolescent behavior.

Presented in Session 71: Sex education: the intersection of traditional systems