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Knowledge of AIDS and risky sexual practices of adolescent female hawkers in bus and truck stations in Ibadan, Nigeria.


Int Conf AIDS. 1998;12:429 (abstract no. 23439). Unique Identifier :

OBJECTIVES: In Nigeria, risky sexual activities among adolescents increasingly place this population at risk of HIV. Female adolescents who hawk in bus and truck stations in cities may be more at risk for HIV than others because their poor economic status and relative youth make them vulnerable to sexual exploitation by the older men operating in these settings. The objectives of this study were to assess AIDS knowledge; identify sexual risk practices, and plan appropriate interventions. METHODS: Data were collected in Nov. 1997, by trained female interviewers who used a questionnaire to conduct face-to-face interviews in 4 Ibadan bus and truck stops used for long distance travel. 228 female hawkers, aged 10-19 years, agreed to participate in the study (response rate 97%). RESULTS: The mean age of the hawkers was 17.1 years and the items sold were mainly non-alcoholic beverages, snacks and food, in that order. 48% hawked for parents, 21% on their own and 17.7% were hired by older women traders. The STDs known were AIDS (74%) and gonorrhea (43%). The hawkers averaged 3.2 on a 7-point AIDS knowledge scale; 57% believed that HIV can be transmitted through sharing toilet seats with an infected person and 27% believed that there is a cure for AIDS in Nigeria. 42% did not know what to do to prevent STD's; others would abstain from sex (12.4%), use a condom (9.2%), have one sexual partner (6.0%), wash the vagina after intercourse (3.2%), use drugs (2.8%), pray (0.9%), and be careful in selecting partners (0.9%). Forty-two percent have had sex; 58% had not. An older male was mostly (57%) mentioned as the first sexual partner. 16% used a condom during the first episode of sex, 84% did not. Of the 59 who had sex in the past three months, 10% used a condom during their last sexual encounter; 90% did not. 3.9% reported that they had been raped in the past in the course of trading in the stations. 87% of those sexually active reported that their last episode of sex was with an older male partner. The hawkers averaged 9.8 points on a 21-point self-reported assertiveness skills scale. CONCLUSION: The low level of condom use by the hawkers and the frequency of having older partners places them at high risk for HIV. Barriers to condom use include poor knowledge about AIDS and limited assertiveness skills. An intervention is now underway to address these problems.

MEETING ABSTRACTS Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/*PREVENTION & CONTROL/ TRANSMISSION Adolescence Adult Child *Developing Countries Female Human *Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice Male Nigeria Occupational Diseases/ETIOLOGY/*PREVENTION & CONTROL Risk Factors *Sex Behavior Social Environment *Transportation *Urban Population


Information in this article was accurate in December 30, 1998. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.