Muhimbili University College of health sciences (MUCHS) University of Dar es Salaam: risk taking behaviours and perceived susceptibility to HIV infection among street adolescents in Dar es Salaam

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Date
2005
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
University of Dar es Salaam
Abstract
The problem of street adolescents is worldwide especially in developing countries. In this era of HIV/AIDS epidemic, it is important to understand the dynamics of their behaviours that can influence the epidemic to further spread. This study was conducted to investigate the extent of HIV risk behaviours practiced and level of perceived susceptibility to HIV infection among street adolescents in Dar es Salaam. A total of 220 youth of the street between 10 to 24 years old were interviewed. Information on reasons for coming into streets, their risk behaviours and perceived susceptibility to HIV infection was obtained using structured interview. The results showed that the major reason that drives children to the streets is poverty. Family conflicts and parental separation due to death or divorce are also contributing factors for children to leave their homes. Unprotected sex was found to be very high among street adolescents, but the perception of susceptibility to HIV infection was very low. Despite the high sexual risk behaviours reported most of the respondents (more than 70%) believed their risk of getting HIV was low or zero, a fact that can add into reasons for adolescents to indulge in unsafe sex. It was revealed that condom use was very low and multiple partnerships were high among street adolescents. Alcohol and drug use was also found to be common. The findings provide guidance for HIV/AIDS prevention programs to focus on street adolescents, as well as prevention of drug use among street adolescents. Appropriate recommendations to reduce poverty in rural areas and prevent HIV/AIDS transmission among street adolescents have been made. There is a need to create awareness about high-risk behaviours among street adolescents, increase their knowledge and raise their perceived susceptibility to HIV infection. However further studies have to be conducted to document the prevalence of HIV/AIDS among sheet adolescents in Tanzania
Description
Available in print form, University Dar es Salaam, Wilbert Chagula Class mark (THS EAF RA644.A25T34M54)
Keywords
HIV (disease), Street adolescents, Secondary school, Dar es Salaam
Citation
Mkuwa, S (2005)Muhimbili University College of health sciences (MUCHS) University of Dar es Salaam: risk taking behaviours and perceived susceptibility to HIV infection among street adolescents in Dar es Salaam