Knowledge of HIV/AIDS and Unsafe Sex Practices among Filipino Youth
Elma Laguna, Demographic Research and Development Foundation
The paper looks at the knowledge of Filipino youth on HIV/AIDS and how this impacts in their decision to engage in premarital sex and adopt safe sex practices. The analysis is based on data from the 2002 Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Study (YAFS 3), a nationwide study on Filipino young adults ages 15-27. HIV/AIDS knowledge is measured based on whether respondents know of sexually transmitted diseases, whether they have heard of AIDS, whether they think AIDS is curable and their assessment of their likelihood of contracting HIV/AIDS. Unsafe sexual practices on the other hand refer to failure to use condom during sexual encounters. Results show that while there is almost universal knowledge of HIV/AIDS among young people, there is still low level of condom use among sexually active young adults in the country. Moreover, majority of young people do not consider themselves at risk of HIV/AIDS infection.