Changes in HIV/AIDS/STI knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours among the youth in Port Loko, Sierra Leone

Glob Public Health. 2006;1(3):249-63. doi: 10.1080/17441690600668106.


Sierra Leone suffered from 11 years of civil war (1991-2002) resulting in tens of thousands of deaths and mutilations and massive population displacement. In 2001, ARC International, Sierra Leone, conducted a baseline survey of 244 female youth and 293 male youth on knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours around HIV/AIDS and STIs in Port Loko. In 2003, following 2 years of HIV prevention activities, a comparable post-intervention survey of 250 female and 299 male youth was performed. Comparison of baseline and post-intervention results showed that HIV/AIDS knowledge increased dramatically among both groups, with those able to name three effective means of avoiding AIDS increasing from 4% to 36% among female youth, and 4% to 45% among male youth. Reported condom use at last sex increased among female youth from 16% to 46% and among male youth from 16% to 37%. These results demonstrate that, despite the challenges inherent in a post-conflict country, good quality AIDS prevention programmes can be successful.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / prevention & control*
  • Adolescent
  • Condoms / statistics & numerical data
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Health Education
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Refugees
  • Risk Factors
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / epidemiology
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Sierra Leone
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Warfare
  • Young Adult