Risk Factors Of Contracting Sexually Transmitted Infections Among Students
The aim and purpose of this research work is to look into student’s behavior and sexual activities which expose them to contracting sexually transmitted infections, level of awareness of students towards sexually transmitted infections, factors that combine to determine the risk factors of contracting sexually transmitted infections.
A survey research design was adopted for this study using a structured questionnaire; the population of the study was basically students in Ekosodin community, a simple random sampling technique, data and information collected were analyzed using frequency counts and percentages.
The result shows that the students have a high level of awareness concerning sexually transmitted infections showing that awareness level is not a risk factor of contracting sexually transmitted infections, students disputed the fact that pre – marital sex is a factor responsible for sexually transmitted infections which is not in accordance with WHO ( 2005 & 2008) global estimates on the incidence and prevalence of sexually transmitted infections among youths from 15 – 49 years but due to the sensitive nature of this topic might have influenced the students response which deemed to perpetuate denial tendency.
The response on the attitude of students towards the use of contraceptive revealed that it is not a factor responsible for sexually transmitted infections and to a large extent the reasons why students engage in sexual activities. The researcher made recommendations that would be used to prevent, control and enlighten students on the risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections.
1.1 Background to the Study
While sex is a part of a healthy lifestyle, it can as well expose us to serious sexually transmitted infections. There are many new cases of sexually transmitted infection occurrences among all ages and works of life. The need for the study of sexually transmitted infections among students has become indispensable in today’s contemporary society. While many individuals, societies and cultures around the world are yet to consent that sexually transmitted infections leads to various complications later in life, mostly because of their religion, socio cultural background and their belief system etc. In 2011, 11,000 cases of sexually transmitted infections were notified in Ireland. While young age is a risk factor, it is important to know that STIs are not only confined to young people. Health care professionals do not often discuss risky sexual behavior and STI prevention with middle age and older adults.
According to Ravi and Nair (2011), viral and bacterial STIs are estimated over 250million cases yearly. In fact, 356,000 new cases occur daily. Controlling the spread of STIs is an important consideration with the high incidence of acute infections and complications, its socio – economic impact and its role in the transmission of HIV. STIs have reached epidemic levels and the number of new infections reported annually shows pattern of steady increase. Although population in developing countries is heterogeneous, it is young and the incidence and prevalence of STIs is likely to increase among persons aged 20 – 40years.
The factors that contribute directly and indirectly to high incidence of STIs include urbanization, unemployment, poverty, antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria and large numbers of people in the sexually active age group. Infection rates are similar in both women and men but women bear the major burden of complications. STIs are troublesome because they are difficult to identify, treat and control. They are dynamic than any other diseases prevailing in the community. Its epidemiological profile varies from country to country and region to region depending on the ethnographic, demographic, socio – economic and health factors. World health organization (2008) presented a report on global and regional estimates of the incidence and prevalence of four curable sexually transmitted infections which are chlamydia, trichomonas, vaginalis, which is common in adults between 15 and 49 years of age.
These estimates were generated using the same approach as used to generate the 2005 global estimates. The 2008 estimates of the number of new cases for the four infections combined is 11% higher than the estimate for 2005. Worldwide sexually transmitted infections continue to be a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Although, the figure given is likely to be doubled at present. Sexually transmitted infections tools and interventions have been available for years because serious health problems are prevented if these infections are diagnosed and treated early. Viral infections such as herpes .genital warts and HIV aremuch more difficult to treat and in some cases no cure exists. More than one million people were been infected daily, about 60% of those infection occur in young people of 25years of age and 30% of the age group of 25years of age and 30% of the age group of 20years. Sexually transmitted infections occur frequently in girls more than the boys by ratio of nearly 2: 1. This is due to some environmental factors, natural phenomenon.
According to a source on immunization and infectious diseases: an informed parents’ guide (copyright @2006 American academy of pediatrics), sexually transmitted infections are spread through direct sexual contact. Teenagers and young adults have higher rates of sexually transmitted infections than any other age group and one of the main reasons is that they frequently have unprotected sex. They are also biologically more likely to develop an infection and theymay be likely to use health care services that could give them information on how to protect themselves against sexually transmitted infections. Others factors that give rise to the spread of sexually transmitted infections are population explosive. Marked increase in the number of young people, rural to urban migration and increasing educational opportunities. They also include social disruption like war, terrorism, civil unrest, international travel, broken homes, disharmony etc. It is worthy to note that these predisposing factors to STIs emanate from the environment one may find may find him or himself. Experience and education give rise to knowledge, attitude and practice towards health related issues.
World health organization (2007) global estimates suggest that more than 340million new cases of syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydial infection and trichomoniasis occur throughout the world up to 10% of the women who were not treated or inadequately treated for gonococcal and chlamydial infections may become infertile as a consequence. Reuters 2014 also discussed the issue of sexually transmitted infections and it aims to keep practitioners, trainees and researchers up to date in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted infections. Sexually transmitted infections cut – across gender, age, cultural, social and economic background. In spite of these facts, sexually transmitted infection has been observed to be very common among undergraduate students which make them prone.
Environment and man are inseparable and complementary; these actually affect the way a man live and do things. Environmental factors can put pressure on man especially adolescents and youths to engage in sexual activities which may pose negative effects on their health. More often than not a good number of adolescents drop out of school due to diseases and sickness which maybe as a result of sexually transmitted infections. This therefore calls for an urgent need for an investigation which informed the choice of this topic and I feel there is need for evaluation of risk factors of contracting sexually transmitted infections among students in Ekosodin community with a view to curb the tide and menace caused by sexually transmitted infections.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
It is assumed that a large number of university undergraduate students have heard about sexually transmitted infections and its consequences. Majority have pre – knowledge about the risk of contracting the infection. However, a number of undergraduate students who are emotionally and sexually active often ignore several warnings to engage in indiscriminate and unsafe sexual activities which them vulnerable to the risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections and sexual behavior.
The study will investigate the level of sexually transmitted infections using hostels in Ekosodin community. Knowledge of sexually transmitted infections among undergraduates, the general risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections, steps to follow to avoid being a victim of sexually transmitted infections and methods of educating and disseminating information to control the contraction of sexually transmitted infections among undergraduate students in Ekosodin community.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this research study is to examine the various factors that combine to determine the risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections among students in Ekosodin community. The level to which students in Ekosodin are knowledgeable about sexually transmitted infections, the intending inventory to provide an estimate of the risk factors and ways in which one can prevent the contraction of sexually transmitted infections. The study would also look into student’s behavior and sexual activities which expose them to contracting sexually transmitted infections.
1.4 Significance of the Study
The research project may be considered significant for several reasons. It is hoped that this study will enlighten students in Ekosodin community and the society at large concerning the risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections. Since sexually transmitted infections affect both male and female students, this study will reduce gender behaviors that would make them prone to sexually transmitted infections. This study to a large extent will consider the major factors responsible for sexually transmitted infections among students in Ekosodin community.
Finally, the result of the study will pave –way for better understanding of sexually transmitted infections in terms of causes types, effects, prevention, curative effort on sexually transmitted infections, management on students in Ekosodin community and Nigeria at large.
1.5 Research Questions
- What is the awareness level of students towards sexually transmitted Infections?
- Does pre – marital sex contribute to sexually transmitted infections?
- What is the attitude of students towards the use of contraceptive? E.g. condom
- What are the reasons why students engage in sexual activities?
1.6 Research Hypotheses
For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher:
- H0: There is no significant relationship between the awareness level and the rate of sexually transmitted diseases among secondary school student in Edostate
H1: There is a significant relationship between the awareness level and the rate of sexually transmitted diseases among secondary school student in Edo state
- H0: Caregivers and Adolescents do not knows the signs and symptoms of STDS
H2: Caregivers and Adolescents knows the signs and symptoms of STDS
1.7 Scope / Delimitation of the Study
The study is delimited to undergraduate students in Ekosodin community and to assess specifically the risk factors of contracting sexually transmitted infections and its prevalence.
a) Availability of Research Material:
The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
Finance is one of the limitations to study. The researcher is facing financial constraint to meet the all the needed educational requirements including this research study.
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), also called sexually transmitted infections (STIs), are infections that are passed from person to person through sexual contact. HIV is an STD. There are more than 25 other sexually transmitted infections that are mainly spread by sexual contact such as vaginal, anal, and oral sex.
Abortion is the ending of pregnancy by removing an embryo or fetus before it can survive outside the uterus. An abortion that occurs spontaneously is also known as a miscarriage
Social stigma is disapproval of a person based on socially characteristic grounds that are perceived, and serve to distinguish them, from other members of a society
1.8 Organization of the Study
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows
- Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
- Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
- Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
- Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
- Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain the impact of sexually transmitted disease and it implications among secondary school students.
In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenges of sexually transmitted disease among secondary school student in Edo state.
Based on the findings of this study it can be summarized that, there is very high risk of spread of STDs among young persons in the society, but the present studies will help the caregivers and adolescents to be aware of various forms, signs, symptoms, mode of transmission and control STDs. There is therefore, an urgent need for responsive Counseling services in Nigeria schools and the society at large.
This study has been able to access the knowledge and the implications of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among secondary school students. The study concludes that adolescents in Etinan Local Government have a fair knowledge of Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). It suggests that government and relevant organizations should reach out wider to schools and engage in mass enlightenment programmes for students in rural areas in other for them to have adequate knowledge of the problem. It also suggests that parents and the extended family should also intensify their efforts in educating their adolescents on this menace.
From the finding of this study, the following recommendations are made:
- School Psychologist and counsellors should organize group guidance programme for caregivers and adolescents in school system, churches and recreational centre with the aim of educating young people about STDs. The content of the programme should be ways to reduce the risk of STDs.
- Voluntary HIV Test before marriage should be emphasized.
- Expansion of Anti-Retroviral Drugs (ARD) should made available s to HIV patient.
- Government should introduce programme to reduce poverty at individual family as well as community levels such programme should include home base care for people with HIV/AIDS, foster care for AIDS orphans, food programme for the children and support for educational experience.
- Sex education should be build into school curriculum in senior secondary school classes (SSS I-III).
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