HIV Testing Uptake, Risk Perception and HIV Stigmatization among Youths in a Rural Community in Rivers State, Nigeria




HIV testing, HIV stigmatization, youths, risk perception, Nigeria


Background: The HIV/AIDS epidemic continues to pose a significant public health challenge worldwide, with vulnerabilities observed among youth populations. This study determined the prevalence of HIV testing uptake, knowledge of status, and perception of HIV Stigma among youths in Rivers State.

Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted to survey 284 youths in a rural community of Rivers State applying a multistage sampling technique. Data was analysed using SPSS version 27.

Result: Among respondents (15 to 24 years) prevalence of HIV testing and knowledge of HIV status were the same in 175 (61.6%) of the respondents. About 125 (44.3 %) of the respondents perceived themselves to be at risk of contracting HIV, and only 110 (39.0%) said they perceived they were at higher risk. Stigmatization attitudes towards people living with HIV/AIDS were high at 267 (94.0%). Age, denomination, level of education, marital status, and being in school influenced HIV testing uptake among youths. Specifically. The age category 20 -24 years had a higher proportion of HIV testing uptake among youths 104 (75.9%) compared to those 15-19 years 71 (48.3%) (χ2 = 22.86; p < 0.001). only level of education was significantly associated with stigmatization.

Conclusion: The HIV testing uptake and knowledge of HIV status were about average. Risk perception was inconsistent and suggests that a portion of the youths may underestimate their vulnerability to HIV. This underscores the need for tailored interventions that not only promote regular HIV testing but also address discrepancies in risk perception and emphasize stigma reduction.

Author Biographies


Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, University of Port Harcourt

Ogbonna VI, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hoapital

Department of Community Medicine


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How to Cite

Adeniji, F. O., & Ogbonna, V. I. (2024). HIV Testing Uptake, Risk Perception and HIV Stigmatization among Youths in a Rural Community in Rivers State, Nigeria. The Nigerian Health Journal, 24(1), 1118–1126.

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