Self-Esteem and HIV/AIDS: The Case of University Students
HIV/AIDS is one of the most devastating and challenging pandemic that face humanity today. The two-fold objectives of this study were: first, to obtain information on students’ level of awareness about HIV-AIDS on the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, (KNUST) Kumasi, Ghana campus. Second, to delineate challenges and potential risk factors towards enhancing the efficacy of prevention programs; particularly the relationship of HIV-AIDS awareness to self-esteem.
Four hundred and eighty (480) students, at various stages of their education, participated in the study. The Rosenberg Self-Esteem scale was used in addition to constructed questionnaires for the study. Results indicate that a healthy sense of self-worth can be a buffer against acquiring the disease. Persons with high self-esteem had more knowledge of HIV/AIDS and were less likely to engage in sexually risky behaviors. Other risk behaviors among students are noted and discussed for their clinical implications and the efficacy of prevention programs.