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FMOH. National HIV seroprevalence sentinel survey among pregnant women attending antenatal clinics in Nigeria: Technical Report 2010. Department of Public Health, National AIDS/STI Control Program, Nigeria, 1-4, 2010.

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Knowledge on HIV/AIDS and Sexual Risk Behaviour among Pregnant Women in Gwagwalada Area Council of Abuja, Nigeria

1Department of Community Medicine, University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, Abuja

2Department of Community Health, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria

World Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2015, Vol. 3 No. 3, 73-83
DOI: 10.12691/jpm-3-3-4
Copyright © 2015 Science and Education Publishing

Cite this paper:
Aboh O. Otokpa, Taiwo. O. Lawoyin, Michael C. Asuzu. Knowledge on HIV/AIDS and Sexual Risk Behaviour among Pregnant Women in Gwagwalada Area Council of Abuja, Nigeria. World Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2015; 3(3):73-83. doi: 10.12691/jpm-3-3-4.

Correspondence to: Aboh  O. Otokpa, Department of Community Medicine, University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, Abuja. Email:


Background: HIV/AIDS sexual risk taking is often related to lack of knowledge about HIV and its modes of transmission. We obtained information on the level of HIV knowledge and sexual risk behaviour from women in Gwagwalada Area Council (GAC) of Abuja in order to assess the influence of HIV knowledge, or lack of it, on their sexual behaviour. Methods: Four hundred and twenty women attending ante-natal clinics in GAC were selected and interviewed from the three levels of health care, using total sampling approach. Data was collected on their level of HIV knowledge and sexual risk behavior using semi-structured pretested questionnaire. The respondents HIV status was obtained from ante-natal record where available, or tested for HIV where not available. Data was analysed using Epi-info version 6.04. Findings: Majority of the women were aged between 20- 34 years and most (96.2%) were married. Over 84% had some form of formal education with 64.1% attaining post-primary education. General awareness about HIV was high (94.8%). Knowledge on modes of HIV transmission was also high with 82.8% aware that transmission could occur through unprotected sexual intercourse. About 56.1% and 82.4% were aware that homosexuality and multiple sexual partnerships respectively were risky behaviours. The earliest age at first sexual intercourse was 9 years and 9% had experienced sex by age 14, but majority (66.7%) first experienced sex between 15 and 20 years. Nearly half (49.5%) had premarital sex and 4.8% had sex outside marriage (extramarital sex). Sex before marriage was significantly more common among women with higher level of education (X2 = 14.61, p = 0.000), who married late (≥30 years) and who had ever used condom (X2 = 28.64, p = 0.000). Only 37% had ever used the condom while 38.6% had multiple sexual partners. About 45% were aware that HIV-infected persons may look and feel quite healthy while 36% believed that they always look and feel ill. Respondents who knew that HIV infected persons may feel and look healthy were significantly more likely to use condom (X2 =10.03, p = 0.007). The high HIV/AIDS knowledge level did not translate to low involvement in premarital sex or high condom use, nor did it result to reduced HIV prevalence among this group. Conclusion/recommendation: Knowledge on HIV/AIDS was high but sexual risk behaviours persisted in spite of the high knowledge. Control programs should redirect efforts at sexual behaviours that put women at greater risk of infection and also target young adolescents before sexual debut. Formal and HIV education are key to such efforts.