LIFE IS PRECIOUS
IMPACT OF HIV/AIDS AWARENESS AND PEER RELATIONSHIP ON SEXUAL RISK BEHAVIOUR OF STREET TRADERS
This study looked at the impact of HIV/AIDS awareness and peer relations on sexual risk behaviour of street traders in Imo State. As a result of the poverty level in Nigeria, street trading has become a norm in major cities in the country. Many families cannot afford to pay for shops and street trading becomes a regular alternative to make ends meet in most families. Three hypotheses were postulated and tested. The participants were selected through convenient sampling from the three geopolitical zones in Imo state which are Owerri, Okigwe and Orlu. The participants were 300 which comprised of 143 females and 157 males. The age range was between 16 and 41 years with mean age of 23.45. Three instruments were used for the study. They were: The Awareness/Attitude to AIDS Scale (AAS), Index of Peer Relation Scale and Sexual Risk Behavior Scale. Cross-sectional survey design was used and a 2-way ANOVA was used to analyze the data. Findings showed that both HIV/AIDS awareness and Peer Relation had no significant impact on Sexual Risk Behavior of street traders in Imo State. One of the major implications is that awareness programs and activities of the government are not yielding the needed significant impact in the creation of awareness of HIV/AIDS. Thus, counselors have tremendous role in ensuring that this important sample population is not abandoned.