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Title Page
Table of Contents

1.1       Background to the Study
1.1.1    New Media, Social Media and Social Networking: A Fronded Circle
1.1.2    Social networking, Sex and Influence
1.1.3    Are the measures to Social networking Activities in Nigeria working?
1.1.4    HIV Situation in Nigeria and Media representation
1.2       Statement of the Research Problem
1.3       Aim of the Study
1.4       Objectives of the Study
1.5       Justification for the Study
1.6       Scope of the Study
1.7       Definition of Terms

2.1       Overview of Social Networking
2.2       Types of Social Networking Sites
2.3       Social Networking: Influences and Impact in Our Daily Routine
2.4       Challenges in Communicating Health Information to Young People
2.5       Sexting Associated Risk Behaviour and Young People
2.6       Theoretical Framework
2.6.1    Technological Determinism Technological Determinism Relevance to Social Networking Critique
2.6.2. Uses and Gratification Theory Critique

3.0       Introduction
3.1       Data Gathering Process
3.1.1    Primary Data Sources
3.1.2    Qualitative and Quantitative Methodological Approach
3.2       Justification of the Study Instruments
3.3       Secondary Data Source
3.4       Sampling and Techniques

4.0       Introduction
4.1       The Study Locations: Faculty of Natural Science, Nassarawa State University and Faculty of Engineering, University of Abuja
4.1.1    Faculty of Engineering, University of Abuja
4.2       Questionnaires
4.2.1 Characteristics of Respondents
4.3       The HIV/STI Associated Risk Behaviour in Social Networking
4.4       Qualitative Analysis and Discussions
4.4.1    The Factors that motivate Students to sign up for Social networking Sites
4.4.2    Students experience more freedom in school than at home
4.4.3    Parenting in the twenty-first century goes beyond the physical platforms
4.5       Social Networking-associated Risk Behaviour
4.5.1    Age at first sexual experience
4.5.2    Multiple sex partnering
4.6       HIV Knowledge and Information
4.7       The Positive gains Students Derive from Social Networking

5.1       Summary
5.2       Recommendations
5.3       Conclusion


The study ―Social Networking and HIV/AIDS Associated Risk Behaviour among Students in selected Nigerian Universities‖ was carried out to explore how social networking is associated with higher HIV prevalence and HIV-new infections among young people in Nigeria. Social networking platforms have features/chat rooms for flirting, adult-hook ups and sex chat. Young adults are constantly glued to these chat-rooms via the social networking sites. These virtual spaces are now preferred by them for lewd conversations which they are not comfortable to engage in physical spaces. Social networking sites enhance their chances of meeting multiple casual partners depending on their sexual preference and practices and in most cases; engage in unprotected sexual intercourse. Moreover, pornographic images shared and accessed via the social media increase their sexual desire and in their quest to quench their sexual desire, increases their HIV vulnerability. The major objectives of this study are to: to assess the extent of the use of social media by young people in the two selected universities in Northern Nigeria, examine the link between social networking, young people and HIV-vulnerabilities, establish how social networking impacts on Nigeria‘s efforts in getting to zero new-HIV infection and explore how social networking can be effectively used to communicate health effectively to young adults. The findings of this study imply that social networking is becoming part of young people‘s everyday life and if not properly utilized could lead to risky behaviours including HIV. The study recommends that: Universities and colleges should also encourage students‘ (especially undergraduate students) positive usage of Social Network Sites by creating study groups online on particular courses for students to engage in scholarly discourse since majority of users on these platforms are youths. Further research into the potentials of the usage of Social Network Sites should be encouraged as this will further help determine the extent of its capabilities to bring about development through effective communication and finally HIV/AIDS campaigns should be repackaged and taken to the social networking sites to educate the youths and engage their attention.


1.1               Background to the Study

In recent years, there has been an upsurge in the number of online social networking sites and traffic to these sites from Nigeria. Despite the large number of adults and children alike embracing these online sites, few research has been done in Nigeria, to date, to examine the potential adverse outcomes of such sites. The considerable increase over the past few years in the use of mobile phones, text messaging, emails, chat rooms and social networks has altered our social environments and has in many ways affected our social interactions. Comparative data from the Nigerian Communication Commission (2012) suggests that Nigerians are the highest users of mobile technology and mobile social networking on the continent‘ compared to other countries such as South Africa, Egypt, Kenya, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Namibia, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Young people, who are known to acquire technological skills more rapidly than adults, lead the way in the daily use of information and communication technologies (ICTs).

In Nigeria, young people are generally reluctant to seek sexual health information for a variety of reasons, including stigma, lack of interest, lack of services, cost, and denial of risk (Janssen & Davis, 2009; Pitts, Dowsett, Couch, Keys, &Dutertre, 2003; Sorenson & Brown, 2007). However, as young people in Nigeria use social networking sites, health professionals are yet to explore and create ways to listen to and engage with young people about sexual health issues via these media in ways that may challenge these barriers. Young people live in virtual online and offline social worlds (Collin, Rahilly, Third, & Richardson, 2010; Pascoe, 2011). By way of Social networking sites (SNS), young people connect and disconnect with others, debate, download, upload, and create. They use social networking.....

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