SEX EDUCATION AS A TOOL FOR REDUCING HIV/AIDS AMONG YOUTHS IN IVO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF EBONYI STATE
This study was carried out in Ivo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. The purpose of this study sex education as a valuable tool in reducing the transmission of HIV/Aids among secondary school students. The purpose of carrying out this study is to identify those problems associated with sex education and why parents and teachers are skeptic in discussing sexual matters with the youths. The population of the study was drawn from teachers and students in senior secondary schools in Ivo L.G.A. To carry out this the research made use of structural questionnaire for data collection, questionnaires were distributed to this population to sample their opinion. After analyzing the opinions of the respondents, the findings showed that the mass media have done a great deal in educating youths about sex and sexual behaviours that are right, that indulge in sex through seminars and workshops been organize to that effect and that traditional practice should encourage parents to advise the young ones on how to go about their sexual behaviour and that discussing sexual issues carried out on the effect of pornographic film on the youths.
Background to the Study
The issue of sex education as a tool for reducing HIV/Aids among secondary school students in Ivo Local Government Area of Ebonyi state has been of concern in the Local Government. Sex education is most appropriate for our time when the world at large and our society in particular has lost grip with the true knowledge and values for her sexuality.
Sex! This three-letter word connotes different things to different people. Sex and sexual symbols abound in our society. One can find sexually explicit information or images in the movies, book, television shows, on-line programmes, etc. Alters and Schiff, (1997). This all-important issue is no more treated with respect; it used to be accorded in the past. For instance, if one take a look at magazines or pictures, one will find attractive young men and women in advertisement for clothes, perfumes, soap, among others. This gives the impression that whether their product is a clothes, perfumes or soap. Advertisers and promoters know that “sex sells”.
The term sex refers to one’s gender, male or female as well as to sexual intercourse and certain intimate activities that involve the Alters and Schiff, (1997).
HIV stands for Human Immune Deficiency Virus. It is a condition in humans in which the immune system begins to fail, leading to life-threatening opportunistic infections. According to W.H.O (1999). HIV infection in humans is considered pandemic and complacency about HIV may play a key role in HIV risk. Infection with HIV occurs by the transfer of blood, semen, vaginal fluid, pre-ejaculation, or breast milk. Within these bodily fluids, HIV is present as both free virus particles and virus within infected immune cells. The four major routes of transmission from infected mother to her baby at birth.
On the other hand, AIDS means Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. It is a disease of the human immune system caused by HIV. According to Fawole, (1999) AIDS are primarily the result of conditions that do not normally develop in individuals with healthy immune systems. Most of these conditions are infections caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites that are normally controlled by the elements of immune system that HIV damages. People with AIDS also have an increased risk of developing various cancers.
Aids is a diagnosis given to a collection of certain symptoms and illnesses which shows that the body’s immune system has been severely damaged by HIV. According to Davise (2001) the immunity of people living with HIV declines progressively, they are affected by condition that further weigh them down. People living with HIV and AIDS can experience different kinds of chronic pains and discomfort. The epidemic makes the people living with the virus to have physical, emotional, social and psychological pains. Some degree of mental confusion is common among those living with HIV/AIDS Nwolise (2001). This may be caused by infection of the brain with the illness. People living with HIV/Aids are unable to think clearly.
Asuzu (2005) states that laceration arising from sexual transmitted infections (STIs) like gonorrhea and syphilis allows HIV to enter the body more easily during sex with a HIV positive person. The presence of STIs increases the risk of transmission of HIV. HIV can also be transmitted during oral sex in relatively rare cases where there are sores in the mouth and on genitals.
The term sex education is the process of acquiring information and forming attitudes and beliefs about sex, sexual identity, relationships and intimacy. Sex education is also about developing young people’s skill so that they make informed choices about their behaviours and feel confident and competent about acting on these choices Irvin (2000).
According to Nwolise (2004), there is high incidence of sex related ills in our society today especially among the youths. These ills include unwanted pregnancies, high incidence of venereal disease, high rate of divorce, rape, abortion, sex deviation such as homosexuality and lesbianism. Sexually transmitted diseases are more prevalent among young people between the ages of 15-29 years Weiner (2004). Sexuality education helps prepare young people to make good choices as they transit to adulthood. Organized education about sex and HIV/Aids can take place in schools, in out-of-school and faith-based programs, in programs of parents, and through peer education activities.
Olayinka (1999) stated that sex education is designed to give correct and adequate factual information and understanding of problems of sex such as its development, function and expression. It enables young people to develop skills, as it can be hard for them to action the basis of only having in formation. The skills young people develop as part of sex education are linked to more generallife-skills. The useful life-skill are being able to communicate, listen, negotiate, ask for and identify sources of help and advice.
Sex education is providing individuals with the knowledge necessary to liberate themselves from socially organized sexual oppression and to make-up their own mind Wihelm (008).
The America Psychological Association (APA) states that sex-education is youth centered, because young people need it to help protect them from HIV/Aids and others STDs they might get if they decide to have sex. In the opinion of willenz (2009), sex education is necessary because it reduces risk behaviours such as unprotected sex, and equip individuals to make informed decisions about their personal sexual activity.
The early form of sex education provided the missionaries was for morality and is regarded to be one sided and unbalanced. The ignorance of some parents and even teachers towards sexual practices has placed their children in the condition of trial and error to satisfy their curiosity.
Limiting young people’s knowledge on what they should know about sex education can only give them the impetus of exploring all available avenues for answers to their sexual urges. The value of television, films, pornographic pictures, radio, novels and write-ups on our dailies are fast increasing in Nigeria. A population of about 7 million students watch television.
This indicates that there is increase in these mediums as a means of promoting sexual eagerness among the youths. Its impact on the generality of young people is a cause of worry and danger such as venereal diseases like HIV/Aids, STDs, abortion, and all sorts of sexual abuses.
The attitude of the students towards this phenomenon is generating an ugly condition as it affects the attitude of teachers towards sex education, which deserves critical look. Different communities attach different beliefs and institutions to it and strictly abide by them. Many teachers tend to see whether sex education should be youth centered. Some teachers feel shy to teach sexual fact to their students. Some teachers and parents regards it as immoral, abomination and a taboo. In most cases some teachers and parents are ignorant of these fact.
The objectives of this study are; to make it easier for the young people to talk to their parents about sex and to have comprehensive knowledge in school sex education. There should be political will to sponsor sex education program to enable the youth in Ivo L.G.A. of Ebonyi state have adequate information about HIV/AIDS to avoid risky sexual behaviour. Just as assaying goes “if you are not informed, you will be deformed”.
Statement of the Problem
The people of Ivo local government fall to understand the need and importance of sex education. there is need to educate them that
Sex education will help to equip young with the skills to be able to differentiate between accurate and inaccurate information, which appear contradictory and confusing.
In that cases, the researcher wants to look at;
i. Why secondary school students embark on sexual gratification at a teenage.
ii. The negative impact of sexual intercourse among secondary school in Ivo L.G.A. of Ebonyi state.
iii. Why so many students do drop out of school when they are pregnant.
iv. Whether the right information about HIV/Aids adequately impacted on the students.
Effective sex education also provides young people with an opportunity to explore the reasons why people have sex, and to think about how it involves emotions, respect for oneself and other people and their feelings, decisions and bodies.
Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to find out how sex education can be tool in reducing HIV/Aids among secondary school students in Ivo L.G.A. of Ebonyi state.
i. To know the rate of awareness of the epidemic among secondary school students in Ivo L.G.A. of Ebonyi state.
ii. The role of government in curbing/reducing the risk of further spread the disease in Ivo L.G.A. of Ebonyi state.
iii. The role of traditional practices in the reduction of HIV/Aids within secondary school students in Ivo L.G.A. of Ebonyi state.
iv. The role of religious institutions in reducing HIV/Aids within secondary students in Ivo L.G.A. of Ebonyi state.
Significance of the Study
The study is significant because it will arouse the interest of the youths for responsible decision concerning their development and that of the society. The study will also help increase young people’s access to sexual health information in an organized and confidential manner.
The study will also aid in reducing stigma amongst the general public living in Ivo L.G.A. by bringing stakeholders, NGOs and individuals together to better the lives of persons living with the epidemic (HIV/Aids). By the end of the study, the respective duties of religious institutions and media houses will be clearly spelt out.
The research work will also help the school administration checkmate the level of awareness and responsibility of teachers towards HIV/Aids and it will encourage the ministry of education to invest more in teachers’ training, workshops, seminars, etc. to inform teacher, sex educators, social workers, parents, etc. the need to discuss sex and sexuality with young people.
Scope of the Study
The scope of this research work covers sex education as a tool of reducing HIV/Aids among secondary school students in Ivo L.G.A. of Ebonyi state. It will be delimited to the teaching and learning of young people in secondary school to seriously improve their well-being.
The study will provide answers to the following research question;
i. How do we know the level of awareness of the epidemic among secondary school students in Ivo L.G.A.
ii. How does government contribute to the reduction of the spread of this disea se in Ivo L.G.A.
iii. How does traditional practices contribute to the reduction of HIV/Aids within secondary schools in Ivo Local Government Area in Ebonyi State.
iv. What are the functions of religious institutions in reducing HIV/Aids among secondary school student in Ivo L.G.A..