Knowledge on HIV and its association with Sexual behaviour among Adolescents living in Kawemepe Division
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Introduction: HIV remains a public health challenge in Uganda. Despite the many efforts to teach young people about HIV we still have some adolescents engaging in risky sexual behavior. Previous studies have indicated that knowledge on HIV among adolescents is associated with age, gender, religion, marital status, education attainment, area of residence, previous uptake of HIV testing services, proximity to their parents, sexual experience, number of sexual partners and condom use at last sexual intercourse. Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess the level of knowledge on HIV, its transmission, prevention and treatment and its association with sexual behavior among adolescents living in Kawempe Division. Methods: The study was cross sectional, conducted among 976 adolescents aged 13 to 19 years who were residing in Kawempe Division during the month of May 2019. A multi-stage sampling procedure was used to select the participants and a single questionnaire which was administered by research assistants was used to collect the data. Multiple linear regression was used to assess the factors associated with knowledge about HIV while binary logistic regression was used to assess how the knowledge was associated with sexual behavior. Results: Knowledge on HIV among the adolescents was generally moderate (mean score knowledge = 11.30, SD= 2.91). This knowledge was associated with age (β= 0.365, p-value < 0.001), school status (β= 1.222, p-value = 0.002) and knowledge of current HIV status (β= 0.868, p-value = 0.017) among other factors. The adolescents knew more about HIV prevention than its transmission and their knowledge on HIV did not influence sexual behavior in any way. Conclusions: We recommend that adolescents be sensitized about HIV transmission, the dangers of engaging in early and unprotected sex and that misconceptions regarding HIV be addressed by clinicians, social workers, parents and teachers.