Background: Routine vaccination of recommended vaccines in adolescents/children from 1999 would prevent >14 million disease cases and 33000 deaths over the lifetime of each birth cohort. Data from National sero-prevalence surveys estimate the prevalence of HIV among 15-24 years old to be 5.2%. Therefore including adolescents in HIV vaccine trials makes them an important target for research in primary prevention of HIV infection which they are increasingly at risk of. This study evaluated adolescent perception towards HIV vaccine trial in Nigeria.
Methods: Two hundred and ninety one consenting adolescents were randomly selected for this study. They were recruited from some secondary schools class rooms, university undergraduates' hostels and some traders at the shopping malls within Lagos State Metropolis. Data were collected using semi-structured questionnaire. Information was obtained from knowledge of HIV status, willingness to participate in vaccine trial in future were obtained. Additionally, sexual risk behavior, stigmatization, obtain parental permission (required or not required), and function of efficacy of HIV vaccine and perceived self risk of HIV vaccine were collated and analyzed using EPI INFO 2002 software (CDC, USA).
Result: Of the 291 respondents interviewed, 96% were single. 72.7% who were willing to participate in the HIV vaccine trial (p<0.05), were educated (97.5%) have Knowledge of HIV vaccine (73.5%), and have no perceived risk of HIV vaccine infection (66.2%). Few respondents (31.3%) know their HIV status. Contrarily, those seeking parental permission (66.2%) would significantly reduce willingness to participate (p>0.05).
Conclusion: Efforts should be made on sustained education campaigns on HIV vaccine involving adolescents/parents' consent, otherwise there would be potential obstacle to hypothetical vaccine acceptance and believe. Sexual high risk behavior is an important factor in the retention of adolescents in future vaccine studies. A number of other ethical and social issues need to be addressed before trials in Nigeria.