CONSUMPTION OF HIV AND AIDS COMMUNICATION ON SOCIAL MEDIA AMONG ENGINEERING STUDENTS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NAIROBI

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ABSTRACT
The main objective of the study was to investigate the consumption of HIV and AIDS
communication on social media among engineering students at the University of Nairobi. It sought
to achieve the following specific objectives: to identify types of social media preferred by youth
in HIV and AIDS communication; to assess the influence of social media on knowledge and
awareness of HIV and AIDS among the youth; and to investigate social media influence on risk
perceptions and behaviour in HIV and AIDS among the youth. Theories that guided the study were
Uses and Gratification Theory, Health Belief Model and Technology Acceptance Model. The
research used descriptive cross-sectional design with mixed method approach that included
quantitative and qualitative methods in data collection. Data was collected from a sample of 131
respondents in the School of Engineering in the University of Nairobi through stratified sampling.
The findings show that social media provides opportunities for HIV and AIDS communication
among the youth as a significant number of youth can access social media. Also, youth use social
media with specific preferences to social media platforms in seeking HIV and AIDS information
where Facebook and YouTube were most preferred In addition, results show that information
obtained by youth on HIV and AIDS in social media does not influence their knowledge and
awareness. Additionally, the results show that youth seeking information in social media has no
relationship with risk perception towards HIV and AIDS. In conclusion, the study shows that social
media is used to communicate HIV and AIDS using ways that do not fully explore the properties
such as interactive and dialogic nature of social media that enhances feedback. The study
recommends the application of specific appropriateness of different social media platforms to
enhance content creation and consumption with specific preferences in social media platforms
while matching the audience gratifications such as entertainment so as to capture attention and
attract the audiences to HIV and AIDS information. Lastly, the study recommends that the use of
social media for HIV and AIDS communication to be part of communication efforts that supports
the objectives of the overall communication strategy.

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