Author(s): Nzyuko S, Lurie P, McFarland W, Leyden W, Nyamwaya D,
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To describe the demographic characteristics and HIV-related risk behaviors of adolescents frequenting truck stops along the Trans-Africa Highway in Kenya. METHODS: A cross-sectional study of 200 adolescents (52\% female) aged 15-19 years was conducted at the Malaba, Sachangwan and Mashinari truck stops in Kenya. A standardized questionnaire assessing the adolescents' demographic characteristics and sexual behavior was administered. RESULTS: Most (89\%) of the adolescents interviewed were out of school. Their median monthly family income was Ksh1000 (US$25). Most felt that their families provided inadequate access to food (72\%), clothing (70\%) and pocket money (87\%). Ninety-three per cent of girls and 87\% of boys had ever had sexual intercourse and of these 54\% of girls and 38\% of boys had ever used a condom. Fifty-two per cent of the girls and 30\% of the boys reported ever having had a sexually transmitted disease. Forty-six percent of girls reported usually having sex with truck drivers, 78\% of girls reported usually exchanging sex for gifts or money and 59\% of boys reported usually giving gifts or money for sex. Subjects engaging in these three risk behaviors were generally less likely to be in school, less likely to live with relatives and less likely to report getting along well with their parents. CONCLUSION: Adolescents at truck stops along the Trans-African Highway in Kenya appear to be at significant risk for HIV infection. In the absence of an immediate and wide-ranging intervention, these conditions are likely to facilitate the spread of HIV from truck drivers and sex workers to adolescents.
This article was published in AIDS
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy