In Nigeria, the HIV sero- prevalence is steadily decreasing. It is presently put at 1.9 % among pregnant women. This implies that about 2 out of every 100 women of reproductive age have chance of getting infected with HIV. Market women are at risk and good target groups to enhance information dissemination to their children as well as neighbors. The objective of this study was to determine the level of awareness and source of information on HIV/AIDS among market women in Oyo State. A semi-structured interviewer administered questionnaire was used which assessed respondents’ demographic characteristics, their level of knowledge and sources of HIV related information. Data was analyzed with Epi-info version 7 software. There were 300 market women who participated in this study. It was found that 22% of respondents were not aware of HIV/AIDS. Furthermore, more than 40% of the respondents wrongly mentioned sharing toilet as mode of transmission, followed by eating together (35%), sharing market stall (31%), handshake (30%), and sharing same bed (28%). 31% of respondents who had awareness of HIV, had accessed HIV screening. Most of those who had not accessed HIV screening did not do so because of fear of death (55%), stigmatization (33%) and not just wanting to test or screen for HIV (20%). It was gathered that the main source of information on HIV/AIDS among respondents was mass media. Results indicated that despite global effort on increasing awareness of HIV/AIDS, there are still needs for improvement among artisans, especially increasing knowledge on mode of transmission and need to get tested and know their HIV status. It is hence recommended that with the major source of information being mass media, efforts should be made to increase programming and jingles on HIV/AIDS in local languages this will aid understanding and increases testing.
Key words: Market women, awareness, knowledge, HIV/AIDS.
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