n Africa Journal of Nursing and Midwifery - Youths' preventive actions against Human Immunodeficiency Virus infections in Tanzania

Volume 14, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1682-5055


In Tanzania the HIV prevalence amongst youths aged 15-24 is 2.7% (TACAIDS, 2008:122). Prevention and management of HIV/AIDS is therefore at the core of saving the youths of Tanzania. A descriptive cross-sectional survey, using pre-tested structured interview schedules, was conducted with 372 youths in the Arusha region of Tanzania.

Youths' awareness of HIV/AIDS was high (97.6%), but comprehensive knowledge about HIV/AIDS had a mean score of 4.6 out of 10. Only 58.5% of the youths believed in HIV prevention while merely 50.8% had practised at least one mode of HIV prevention. Perception of severity of HIV/AIDS and perception of risk of HIV infection influenced the youths' attitudes in favour of HIV preventive behaviours. HIV prevention practices were promoted by positive attitudes towards specific preventive behaviours and the individual's self-efficacy to implement and sustain such behaviours. Barriers against the practice of HIV prevention included the lack of comprehensive knowledge about HIV/AIDS and HIV prevention, and the lack of self-efficacy to enact behaviour changes.
Changing attitudes of youths towards HIV prevention behaviours requires strategies to create risk awareness and to dispel myths and misconceptions surrounding HIV transmission and prevention. Interventions that would boost youths' self-efficacy to have safer sex are also required to enhance HIV prevention practices.

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