Abdulkabir Ayansiji Ayanniyi, Kehinde Fasasi Monsudi, Taofik Kolawole Oduola, Fatai, Olasunkanmi Olatunji
Background: This survey of Nigerian youth corps graduates assessed their knowledge of HIV/AIDS and its association with ocular health. Methods: Nigerian youth corps graduates were surveyed using a structured, self-administered questionnaire. The study included 181 participants, including 95 males, with a mean age of 26 years. Results: 94.5% of the graduates knew the full HIV and AIDS acronyms; only 10 gave either the wrong expanded form or did not know it. 60.8% knew that HIV had no cure, while 22.7% believed that it did. Mass media and health workers were the two most common sources of information about HIV/AIDS. Most members of the corps knew sexual intercourse (97.2%), contaminated blood (91.7%), contaminated sharps (89.5%), and placental transfer or breastfeeding (80.1%) could transmit HIV. About two-fifths of the corps knew HIV could affect the eyes (42%), be contracted through tears (40.9%), and cause blindness (38.7%). However, at least one-fifth believed that HIV could not be contracted through these means. Moreover, about half of the participants did not know that HIV had been isolated from tears (52.5%), intraocular fluids (54.1%), and eye tissues (52.5%) or that it could be contracted through donor eye tissue (44.8%). 26.5% knew that an eye condition could be the first symptom of the onset of HIV/AIDS. Conclusions: This study revealed a high level of awareness of HIV/AIDS among Nigerian youths. However, gaps in knowledge of HIV and the need to drive HIV prevention should be addressed through continuing HIV education.