Has high awareness of HIV/AIDS been translated into positive behavior and practices among Ugandan youth?
Diana Nambatya, Partners in Population and Development Africa Regional Office
Uganda has been hailed for combating HIV/AIDS epidemic from an average prevalence of 18% in 1992 to 6.1%. However, the prevalence has recently been rising in Northern Uganda, an area of prolonged conflict and is highest among youth. The study investigated the relationship between socio-economic characteristics and knowledge and practices towards HIV/AIDS among 910 youth (15-24years) in Northern Uganda region. The findings indicate that 90% of the youth were married, cohabiting, divorced/separated and widowed. Overall 98% of the respondents had sex in the past 12 months and 49% had several sexual partners. Although 98% of the youth were aware of HIV/AIDS and 89% had seen persons sick or dead of AIDS, only 7% were abstaining from sex at the time of the survey and 40% had used condoms in the last 12 months. The findings have important implications for the development of primary HIV/AIDS prevention programs for youth.