Author(s): Karim AM, Magnani RJ, Morgan GT, Bond KC
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Abstract CONTEXT: In Ghana, as in many other Sub-Saharan African countries, the behaviors of the current cohort of adolescents will strongly influence the course of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. This study sought to identify factors associated with elevated risks of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection among unmarried Ghanaian youth. METHODS: A nationally representative sample of 3,739 unmarried 12-24-year-olds were surveyed. Various regression techniques were used to assess the effects of individual and contextual factors on sexual behavior and condom use. RESULTS: Forty-one percent of female and 36\% of male youth reported being sexually experienced. On average, sexually experienced youth had had fewer than two partners; only 4\% of these females and 11\% of males had had more than one sexual partner in the three months before the survey. Although Ghanaian youth are knowledgeable about condoms, only 24\% of sexually experienced males and 20\% of females reported consistent condom use with their current or most recent partner. A sizable number of contextual factors and attributes of youth themselves were associated with sexual behaviors, while individual characteristics were stronger predictors of condom use. CONCLUSIONS: The findings provide further justification for interventions targeting key contextual factors that influence youth behaviors in addition to providing youth with necessary communication, negotiation and other life skills.
This article was published in Int Fam Plan Perspect
and referenced in Journal of Proteomics & Bioinformatics