Phramongkutklao College of Medicine, Thailand
Phonphruet Kumtree has completed his secondary school from Samsenwittayalai, Bangkok, Thailand. He always was a master of Ceremony in English for his school. Furthermore, he got a full scholarship as an exchange student for three years in a row. As a result, he was honoured as a paragon by his high school. He is now a 5th year student in Phramongkutklao College of Medicine. At the same period, he also is selected to be the class commander of his medical year. He is eager to fulfill his research focusing on the impact of peer influence towards early sexual activity.
Sexual activity in adolescents remains a major problem with its considerable negative health outcomes. An understanding of the predictors of early sexual activity is important for effective intervention. Yet the information regarding this issue is limited in the Thai context. This study, therefore, aims to determine the prevalence and associates of early sexual initiation among school adolescents in Thailand. A cross-sectional survey was conducted during November 2015. Demographics and risky sexual behaviors were obtained by using computer-assisted self-interview (CASI). Logistic regression was performed to investigate the factors related to sexual experience. Of the 702 students surveyed, 183 (26.1%) reported lifetime sexual intercourse. Out of those sexually active students, 75 (41.0%) reported having multiple sex partners, and only 51 (27.9%) reported a regular use of condoms. The average age of sexual debut was 14.9 years (standard deviation = 2.3). After controlling for the potential confounders, we found that the factors associated with early sexual activity were including: age (OR=1.86; 95% CI=1.64-2.12; p<0.001), academic achievement (OR=0.65; 95% CI=0.46-0.92; p=0.02), parental status (AOR=1.57; 95% CI=1.04-2.36; p<0.03), have seen pornography (AOR=2.35; 95% CI=1.27-4.35; p<0.01), peers have had sex (OR=3.28; 95% CI=1.74-6.19; p<0.001), peers have had recreational drug use (OR=3.04; 95% CI=1.27-7.28; p<0.01). The study found a high prevalence of early sexual activity among secondary school students in rural community of Thailand together with correlates mentioned above. Thereby, interventions emphasizing on the reduction of peer delinquency and substance use should be developed and implemented.
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