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Immune deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by a virus called Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). AIDS is a fatal disease like cancer, which has no cure, and hence, the prevalence of AIDS is a serious social problem across the globe. Sociological changes brought about by rapid modernization in the twenty-first century have led to chronic problems like pre-marital sex, homosexualism, and multiple partnerships in sexual life that have greatly contributed to moral degradation and subsequent rise in STDs like AIDS, Syphilis, and Gonorrhea even in the High School and University students.
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by a virus called Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). AIDS is a fatal disease like cancer, which has no cure. Pre-marital sex, homosexualism, and multiple partnerships in sexual life have greatly contributed to moral degradation and subsequent rise in STDs like AIDS.
HIV typically affects the human immune system, which defends the body against pathogenic organisms. HIV transmission occurs due to the transfusion of body fluids like blood, semen, vaginal secretions, and breastmilk. The major modes of transmission of this retrovirus are sexual intercourse, contaminated needles, maternal transmission from an infected mother via the birth canal or breastmilk. A recent study has revealed that despite recent decreases in sexual risk behaviors, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection has been the seventh leading cause of death among persons aged 15-24 years in the United States during 1997. A study to examine HIV knowledge, perceived risk, and sexual behavior of 370 undergraduate students in selected universities in southern Nigeria has confirmed females have significantly higher overall HIV knowledge than males. In addition, more females than males have been found to have significantly higher knowledge on the risk of HIV transmission through oral sex. Females also exhibited greater knowledge on the risk of needle sharing in steroid abuse. T-test on sexual behavior risk confirmed that males engaged in risky sexual behaviors than females (Chwee Lye Chng et al., 2005 ).
Seven closely related variables can be identified in the problem, namely AIDS, Sexual intercourse, homosexualism, multiple sexual partnerships, use of condoms, psychological afflictions like perversions, and Awareness. Among the seven variables, AIDS is the dependent variable. Sexual intercourse, homosexualism, multiple sexual partnerships, psychological afflictions like perversions are independent variables that influence the dependent variable. Awareness and use of condoms are the moderating variables. An analysis of the influence of the independent variables on the dependent variable gives a great insight into the problem. Sexual intercourse with an infected partner, homosexual behavior, and multiple sexual partnerships causes AIDS. Any psychological perversion, in turn, causes a disturbance of some order in sexual behavior. Use of condoms and Awareness are moderating variables whose presence or absence will determine to a great extent the relationship between the dependent and independent variables. For example, lack of Awareness always leads to indiscriminate sexual habits and thus sexually transmitted diseases like AIDS. Regular use of condoms gives good protection from semen transmission route.
Awareness about the deadly sexually transmitted viral diseases protects the population from HIV susceptibility. This holds value because of the fact that most of the campaigns against AIDS take this concept of AIDS education, the nature of transmission, the effects on the immune system, and the social isolation of the affected individual.
- K. Basen-Engquist, L. C. Mâsse, K. Coyle, D. Kirby, G. S. Parcel, S. Banspach and J. Nodora, 1999, “Validity of scales measuring the psychosocial determinants of HIV/STD-related risk behavior in adolescents” Health Education Research, Vol. 14, No. 1, 25-38.
- Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 1999, ‘Trends in HIV-Related Sexual Risk Behaviors Among High School Students—Selected US Cities, 1991-1997’,The Journal Of American Medical Association, VOL 282,no.3.
- Chwee Lye Chng, Esther Eke-Huber, Starr Eaddy, John. R. Collins, March 2005, ‘Nigerian college students: HIV knowledge, perceived susceptibility for HIV and sexual behaviors, College Student Journal.