Unsafe sex is the leading cause of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection globally. Young people under the age of 25 are estimated to account for half of all new HIV infections worldwide, with an average of two young persons being infected every hour of every day. HIV/ AIDS is rapidly spreading and has cost millions of lives and billions of dollars to humanity. Studies have shown that despite biological factors like sexual relationships, drug injection, blood transfusion, there are some underlying psychological factors that make one vulnerable to HIV infection - like anxiety, stress, depression, lack of communication, posttraumatic stress disorder, negative affect, domestic problems, etc. Keeping this in mind, These are HIV risk perception, peer pressure.

Risk perception is a faulty perceptual process that makes people vulnerable to risky behaviors. There may be a number of risk factors, for example, low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, sex abuse, posttraumatic stress disorder, negative affect and lack of communication, that influence risk perception. The present research is more focused on peer pressure and drug abuse behavior as potential cause of HIV risk vulnerability. Peer pressure is a term describing changes, or temptations to make changes, in attitude, behavior and morals as directly influenced by their peer group. Some teenagers get caught up in romantic feelings and believe having sex is the best way they can prove or demonstrate their love; some teenagers decide to have sexual relationships because their friends think so. Studies have shown that many adolescent girls equate sex with love and/or peer acceptance and suffer undesirable consequences as a result of their actions, such as HIV infection, other sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy.

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Comment by ABEDNEGO KITHEKA MUTUNGWA on April 26, 2010 at 7:02pm
True Ukeme
Im a SALT practitioner and i know the power of this tool if well used .

i once found myself in this fix of peer pressure --------,which nearly almost messed my life .

The power of accompaniment and support got me out of this by my teammates .

It can also happen if it becomes a concern to communities where we come from ,and the community will definitely take charge
as long as facilitation is in place
Comment by Laurence Gilliot on April 26, 2010 at 3:44pm
Hi Ukeme,

What is your personal experience with peer pressure? Is this something that you see in young people in Nigeria? Something that worries you?

Laurence

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