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|Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, USA|
|ScientificTracks Abstracts: Reprod Syst Sex Disord|
|Orphans, compared to non-orphans, face a higher risk for unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. However, there is a paucity of research on orphans’ reproductive behaviors such as family planning practices. For this study, we used a mixed methods approach and data from two studies funded by National Institute of Health (NIH) to examine sexual and reproductive behaviors and outcomes among orphan adolescents in Kenya. Quantitative data were obtained from the project “school support as a structural intervention among orphan adolescents in Kenya” (n=835) and qualitative data from the study “pathways to HIV risk among school dropouts in Kenya” (N=82). Respondents were orphan adolescents aged 11-23 in 2011-2014. By 2014, about 50% of participants had ever experienced sexual intercourse, 18% were ever married, 19% of females were ever pregnant, and 76% of males were circumcised. Among females, those who had a pregnancy ending in miscarriage, abortion, or stillbirth increased from 4% to 14% from 2011 to 2014. Among sexually active participants, condom use at first intercourse increased from 32% to 63% over time, but females were less likely to report condom use than males. From the interviews, we found that many reported that condoms were easily available and that participants mostly used condoms to prevent HIV. Many also reported discontinuing condom use with regular sex partners when they were aware of their negative HIV status. Further, participants reported disagreements with sex partners as a reason for not using condoms. Few participants used any modern contraceptives for family planning purposes. More research is needed to better understand orphans’ unique reproductive behaviors to inform the development of effective family planning interventions for this vulnerable population.|
Hyunsan Cho has completed his PhD in Sociology at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and currently, he is a Research Scientist at Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE) in Chapel Hill, NC. His primary research interests are centered on “Adolescent behavioral problems, HIV prevention research in Sub-Saharan Africa, research methods, and quantitative approaches”. Currently, he is a Principal Investigator of two grants titled “school support as structural HIV prevention for adolescent orphans in Kenya (R01)” and “pathways to HIV risk among orphan school dropouts in Kenya (R21)” funded by National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).
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