Reports from studies conducted among drivers in countries with high burden of human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) show very high prevalence of HIV infection in multiples of the national average. HIV risk perception has been identified as an important antecedent for one’s adoption of protective behavior against contracting the disease. This study was conducted to assess the knowledge of HIV/AIDS, risk perception, sexual lifestyle and condom use among drivers in Sokoto, Nigeria. A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 264 randomly selected drivers in March, 2011 using pre-tested, interviewer administered, semi-structured questionnaire. Data analysis was done using computer software, SPSS version 17. Awareness of HIV/AIDS was high (93.9%), and majority had adequate knowledge of transmission (83.3%) and prevention (84.9%) of HIV infection. Only a few (12.9%) perceived the disease to be a threat to them. Twenty seven (10.9%) had engaged in casual sex in the past 12 months and the determinants included age below 40 years (OR = 2.119, 95% CI = 0.006 to 0.175) and being single, separated or divorced (OR = 2.848, 95% CI = 0.055 to 0.304). Although consistent use of condom was low (19.7%), it was twice as prevalent among respondents that had casual sex in the past 12 months (44.4%) compared to those that did not (18.1%), c2 = 10.077, p = 0.002. This study demonstrated poor HIV/AIDS risk perception, unsafe sexual practices and poor condom use among drivers in Sokoto despite adequate knowledge of the disease. The findings in this study suggest the need for intensification of mass media campaigns and other public health measures aimed at discouraging unsafe sexual practices, stimulating appropriate risk perception and promoting consistent use of condom.
Key words: Knowledge, human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), risk perception, sexual lifestyle, condom use.
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