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1.  Is Food Insecurity Associated with HIV Risk? Cross-Sectional Evidence from Sexually Active Women in Brazil 
PLoS Medicine  2012;9(4):e1001203.
Alexander Tsai and colleagues show that in sexually active women in Brazil severe food insecurity with hunger was positively associated with symptoms potentially indicative of sexually transmitted infection and with reduced odds of condom use.
Background
Understanding how food insecurity among women gives rise to differential patterning in HIV risks is critical for policy and programming in resource-limited settings. This is particularly the case in Brazil, which has undergone successive changes in the gender and socio-geographic composition of its complex epidemic over the past three decades. We used data from a national survey of Brazilian women to estimate the relationship between food insecurity and HIV risk.
Methods and Findings
We used data on 12,684 sexually active women from a national survey conducted in Brazil in 2006–2007. Self-reported outcomes were (a) consistent condom use, defined as using a condom at each occasion of sexual intercourse in the previous 12 mo; (b) recent condom use, less stringently defined as using a condom with the most recent sexual partner; and (c) itchy vaginal discharge in the previous 30 d, possibly indicating presence of a sexually transmitted infection. The primary explanatory variable of interest was food insecurity, measured using the culturally adapted and validated Escala Brasiliera de Segurança Alimentar. In multivariable logistic regression models, severe food insecurity with hunger was associated with a reduced odds of consistent condom use in the past 12 mo (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 0.67; 95% CI, 0.48–0.92) and condom use at last sexual intercourse (AOR = 0.75; 95% CI, 0.57–0.98). Self-reported itchy vaginal discharge was associated with all categories of food insecurity (with AORs ranging from 1.46 to 1.94). In absolute terms, the effect sizes were large in magnitude across all outcomes. Underweight and/or lack of control in sexual relations did not appear to mediate the observed associations.
Conclusions
Severe food insecurity with hunger was associated with reduced odds of condom use and increased odds of itchy vaginal discharge, which is potentially indicative of sexually transmitted infection, among sexually active women in Brazil. Interventions targeting food insecurity may have beneficial implications for HIV prevention in resource-limited settings.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
At the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, more men than women were infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, but currently half of all HIV-positive adults are women. Most women become infected with HIV through unprotected sexual intercourse with an infected male partner. Biologically, women are twice as likely to become infected through unprotected heterosexual intercourse as men. Moreover, women are often unable to negotiate condom use because of unequal gender relations—men can insist on unprotected sexual intercourse in many relationships. Another factor often related to unequal gender relations that may shape women's risk of exposure to HIV is food insecurity—limited or uncertain access to enough nutritionally adequate and safe food for an active, healthy life. Recent studies done in sub-Saharan Africa suggest that food insecurity can affect women's engagement in risky sexual behaviors such as unprotected sex, transactional sex (sexual relationships that involve the giving of goods or services such as free lodgings), and commercial sex work.
Why Was This Study Done?
Policymakers planning HIV prevention strategies in resource-limited settings need to know whether food insecurity affects sexual risk taking among women. If it increases risk taking, then interventions that target food insecurity should improve the effectiveness of HIV prevention strategies. However, little is known about food insecurity and sexual risk taking outside sub-Saharan Africa. In this cross-sectional study (a study that characterizes a population at a single point in time), the researchers investigate whether food insecurity is associated with risky sexual behavior among sexually active women in Brazil, a country where the number of new heterosexually transmitted HIV infections among women is increasing. Condom promotion is the mainstay of Brazil's HIV prevention strategy, but less than half of the population reports the use of a condom whenever sexual intercourse occurs (consistent condom use) or at last sexual intercourse (recent condom use), and a greater proportion of men than women report condom use, possibly because of unequal power relations between men and women.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers obtained data on consistent condom use, recent condom use, and self-reported itchy vaginal discharge in the previous 30 days (used here as an indication that a woman may have a sexually transmitted infection) for 12,684 sexually active women from a national survey conducted in Brazil in 2006–2007. They then used multivariable logistic regression (a statistical method) to investigate the association between these outcomes and food insecurity, which was measured using the Escala Brasiliera de Insegurança Alimentar, an 18-item questionnaire that asks people to recall information about the quantity and quality of food available to them over the previous three months. Severe food insecurity with hunger (the most extreme category of food insecurity) was associated with an adjusted odds ratio (AOR) for consistent condom use of 0.67. That is, women who reported severe food insecurity were two-thirds as likely to use a condom whenever they had sexual intercourse as women who were food secure, after adjustment for other factors that might have affected condom use. The probability of consistent condom use was 15% among women who were food secure but only 10.5% among women who had the worst food security. Severe food insecurity with hunger was also associated with a reduced odds of recent condom use (AOR = 0.75), whereas all categories of food insecurity increased the odds of a recent itchy vaginal discharge.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that severe food insecurity with hunger is associated with reduced condom use and with increased occurrence of symptoms that may indicate sexually transmitted disease among sexually active women in Brazil. Because the study looked at women at only a single time point, these findings do not show that food insecurity causes risky sexual behavior. Moreover, these findings may not be generalizable to other settings, and they do not distinguish between regular condom use with a regular partner and regular condom use with casual partners. Also, although the researchers investigated two hypothesized explanations—lack of control in sexual relations and chronic energy deficiency—neither of these factors could explain why food insecurity is associated with risky sexual behavior. Nevertheless, these findings suggest that interventions that target sexual risk reduction behaviors are unlikely to be optimally effective if food insecurity is not taken into account, and, thus, the researchers conclude, HIV prevention strategies in Brazil should include interventions that target food insecurity.
Additional Information
Please access these web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001203.
Information is available from the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases on all aspects of HIV infection and AIDS
NAM/aidsmap provides basic information about HIV/AIDS, and summaries of recent research findings on HIV care and treatment (in several languages)
Information is available from Avert, an international AIDS charity on many aspects of HIV/AIDS, including detailed information on HIV and AIDS prevention, women, HIV, and AIDS, and HIV and AIDS in Brazil (in English and Spanish); personal stories of women living with HIV are available
HIV InSite provides comprehensive and up-to-date information on all aspects of HIV/AIDS from the University of California at San Francisco
Additional patient stories about living with HIV/AIDS are available through the charity website Healthtalkonline
A primer on food security from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is available
Information about the 2006–2007 Brazilian national survey on health in women and children is available in Portuguese; a profile of food security in Brazil is also available (some information in English but mainly in Portuguese)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001203
PMCID: PMC3323512  PMID: 22505852
2.  Sexual behaviour, contraceptive knowledge and use among female undergraduates’ students of Muhimbili and Dar es Salaam Universities, Tanzania: a cross-sectional study 
BMC Women's Health  2014;14:94.
Background
The rate of premarital sexual activity, unwanted pregnancies and illegal abortions remain higher among university students. This calls for understanding the knowledge on contraceptive use and sexual behaviours among this high risk group if the incidence of unintended pregnancy, illegal abortions and high sexual risky behaviour are to be minimized. This study aimed to assess ssexual behaviour, contraceptive knowledge and use among female undergraduates’ students of Muhimbili and Dar es Salaam Universities in Tanzania.
Methods
A cross-sectional analytic study was conducted among undergraduate female students in the two Universities located in Dar es Salaam region, Tanzania. The study period was from June 2013 to October 2013. A self-administered questionnaire was given to 281 students. Of these, 253 were retrieved, giving a response rate of 90%. Data was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) for Windows version 17.0. Descriptive statistics were summarized. The chi square test was used to examine relationship between various sociodemographic and sexual behaviours variables with contraceptive use. A P-value of less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results
Results showed that majority (70.4%) of the students have had sexual intercourse. All participants had knowledge of contraception. More than half, 148 (58.5%) of sexually active women reported ever used contraception before while 105 (41.5%) were current contraceptive users. Majority (74.7%) of the sexually active group started sexual activity at young age (19–24 years). Condom, 221(24.3%) and pills, 153 (16.8%) were the known contraceptive methods. The most popular method of contraception used were condoms, withdrawal and periodic abstinence. The main sources of information about contraception were from friends, radio and school (39.5%, 36% and 24%) respectively. Forty (15.8%) women had pregnancies. Of these, 11 (27%) have had unwanted pregnancies among which 54.6% have had induced abortion. Marital status, age at first sex, ever had sex, ever been pregnant and unwanted pregnancies were associated with use of contraception.
Conclusions
Most of the student’s had knowledge of contraception. However, rate of contraception use is still low. Majority of the respondent were sexually active, with the majority started sexual activity at young age. This needs advocacy for adolescence reproductive health education to promote the use of the available contraceptive services amongst university students.
doi:10.1186/1472-6874-14-94
PMCID: PMC4126911  PMID: 25099502
Sexual behaviour; Contraceptive Knowledge; Use; University students Tanzania
3.  HIV prevention in Mexican schools: prospective randomised evaluation of intervention 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2006;332(7551):1189-1194.
Objective To assess effects on condom use and other sexual behaviour of an HIV prevention programme at school that promotes the use of condoms with and without emergency contraception.
Design Cluster randomised controlled trial.
Setting 40 public high schools in the state of Morelos, Mexico.
Participants 10 954 first year high school students.
Intervention Schools were randomised to one of three arms: an HIV prevention course that promoted condom use, the same course with emergency contraception as back-up, or the existing sex education course. Self administered anonymous questionnaires were completed at baseline, four months, and 16 months. Students at intervention schools received a 30 hour course (over 15 weeks) on HIV prevention and life skills, designed in accordance with guidelines of the joint United Nations programme on HIV/AIDS. Two extra hours of education on emergency contraception were given to students in the condom promotion with contraception arm.
Main outcome measures Primary outcome measure was reported condom use. Other outcomes were reported sexual activity; knowledge and attitudes about HIV and emergency contraception; and attitudes and confidence about condom use.
Results Intervention did not affect reported condom use. Knowledge of HIV improved in both intervention arms and knowledge of emergency contraception improved in the condom promotion with contraception arm. Reported sexual behaviour was similar in the intervention arms and the control group.
Conclusion A rigorously designed, implemented, and evaluated HIV education course based in public high schools did not reduce risk behaviour, so such courses need to be redesigned and evaluated. Addition of emergency contraception did not decrease reported condom use or increase risky sexual behaviour but did increase reported use of emergency contraception.
doi:10.1136/bmj.38796.457407.80
PMCID: PMC1463960  PMID: 16682420
4.  Awareness and practices of contraceptive use among university students in Botswana 
Sahara J  2014;10(2):83-88.
In Botswana, unplanned pregnancies, especially among the youth constitutes a growing health and social problem. Research in the field of contraceptive practices, and the causes of sexual practices in Botswana, remains scarce and relatively limited. The objectives of this study was to investigate the awareness and utilization of various contraceptive methods, among university students in Botswana. A descriptive, cross-sectional, research study was conducted among 346 randomly selected students, who completed confidential, self-administered questionnaires. The average age of the respondents was 21 years (SD = 2.8 years). The level of awareness among students regarding contraception was good (score ≥9). Both the male and the female students had almost similar awareness level of contraceptive use, as their mean scores were 8.79 and 8.72, respectively (p = .733). All the female students (100%) were ‘aware’ that the effectiveness of the contraceptives used, as compared to male students, being 93.7%. A greater proportion of the female students (90.6%) knew that using contraceptives irregularly would result in pregnancy, in contrast to 76.4% males. More than half (59.0%) of the students indicated that they had engaged in sexual acts. Significantly, more male students (68.5%) had sexual experiences prior to the study, compared to 54.5% of their female counterparts (p = .038). The majority of the students (76%) reported that they had always used contraceptive methods. The most commonly used contraceptive method was the condom (95.6%), followed by oral contraceptive pill (86.7%). There was no significant association found between the level of awareness and the use of contraceptives. Results suggested that many students still engaged in risky, contraceptive practices by engaging in unprotected sexual acts. Therefore, there is a need to educate the students about sexually transmitted infections, the different contraceptive methods and the regular use of the available contraceptives.
doi:10.1080/17290376.2013.869649
PMCID: PMC3914499  PMID: 24405283
awareness; utilization; contraception; university students; Botswana; conciencia; la utilizatión; la anticoncepción; los estudiantes universitarios; Botswana
5.  Young women and limits to the normalisation of condom use: a qualitative study 
AIDS Care  2009;21(5):561-566.
Encouraging condom use among young women is a major focus of HIV/STI prevention efforts but the degree to which they see themselves as being at risk limits their use of the method. In this paper, we examine the extent to which condom use has become normalised among young women. In-depth interviews were conducted with 20 year old women from eastern Scotland (N = 20). Purposive sampling was used to select a heterogeneous group with different levels of sexual experience and from different social backgrounds. All of the interviewees had used (male) condoms but only three reported consistent use. The rest had changed to other methods, most often the pill, though they typically went back to using condoms occasionally. Condoms were talked about as the most readily available contraceptive method, and were most often the first contraceptive method used. The young women had ingrained expectations of use, but for most, these norms centred only on their new or casual partners, with whom not using condoms was thought to be irresponsible. Many reported negative experiences with condoms, and condom dislike and failure were common, lessening trust in the method. Although the sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention provided by condoms was important, this was seen as additional, and secondary, to pregnancy prevention. As the perceived risks of STIs lessened in relationships with boyfriends, so did condom use. The promotion of condoms for STI prevention alone fails to consider the wider influences of partners and young women's negative experiences of the method. Focusing on the development of condom negotiation skills alone will not address these issues. Interventions to counter dislike, method failure, and the limits of the normalisation of condom use should be included in STI prevention efforts.
doi:10.1080/09540120802301857
PMCID: PMC2698446  PMID: 19444663
condoms; norms; young women; STI prevention; sexual behaviour
6.  Long-Term Biological and Behavioural Impact of an Adolescent Sexual Health Intervention in Tanzania: Follow-up Survey of the Community-Based MEMA kwa Vijana Trial 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(6):e1000287.
David Ross and colleagues conduct a follow-up survey of the community-based MEMA kwa Vijana (“Good things for young people”) trial in rural Tanzania to assess the long-term behavioral and biological impact of an adolescent sexual health intervention.
Background
The ability of specific behaviour-change interventions to reduce HIV infection in young people remains questionable. Since January 1999, an adolescent sexual and reproductive health (SRH) intervention has been implemented in ten randomly chosen intervention communities in rural Tanzania, within a community randomised trial (see below; NCT00248469). The intervention consisted of teacher-led, peer-assisted in-school education, youth-friendly health services, community activities, and youth condom promotion and distribution. Process evaluation in 1999–2002 showed high intervention quality and coverage. A 2001/2 intervention impact evaluation showed no impact on the primary outcomes of HIV seroincidence and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) seroprevalence but found substantial improvements in SRH knowledge, reported attitudes, and some reported sexual behaviours. It was postulated that the impact on “upstream” knowledge, attitude, and reported behaviour outcomes seen at the 3-year follow-up would, in the longer term, lead to a reduction in HIV and HSV-2 infection rates and other biological outcomes. A further impact evaluation survey in 2007/8 (∼9 years post-intervention) tested this hypothesis.
Methods and Findings
This is a cross-sectional survey (June 2007 through July 2008) of 13,814 young people aged 15–30 y who had attended trial schools during the first phase of the MEMA kwa Vijana intervention trial (1999–2002). Prevalences of the primary outcomes HIV and HSV-2 were 1.8% and 25.9% in males and 4.0% and 41.4% in females, respectively. The intervention did not significantly reduce risk of HIV (males adjusted prevalence ratio [aPR] 0.91, 95%CI 0.50–1.65; females aPR 1.07, 95%CI 0.68–1.67) or HSV-2 (males aPR 0.94, 95%CI 0.77–1.15; females aPR 0.96, 95%CI 0.87–1.06). The intervention was associated with a reduction in the proportion of males reporting more than four sexual partners in their lifetime (aPR 0.87, 95%CI 0.78–0.97) and an increase in reported condom use at last sex with a non-regular partner among females (aPR 1.34, 95%CI 1.07–1.69). There was a clear and consistent beneficial impact on knowledge, but no significant impact on reported attitudes to sexual risk, reported pregnancies, or other reported sexual behaviours. The study population was likely to have been, on average, at lower risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections compared to other rural populations, as only youth who had reached year five of primary school were eligible.
Conclusions
SRH knowledge can be improved and retained long-term, but this intervention had only a limited effect on reported behaviour and no significant effect on HIV/STI prevalence. Youth interventions integrated within intensive, community-wide risk reduction programmes may be more successful and should be evaluated.
Trial Registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00248469
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Every year, about 2.5 million people become infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that causes AIDS. HIV is most often spread through unprotected sex with an infected partner, so individuals can reduce their risk of HIV infection by abstaining from sex, by delaying first sex, by having few partners, and by always using a condom. And, because nearly half of new HIV infections occur among youths (15- to 24-year-olds), programs targeted at adolescents that encourage these protective behaviors could have a substantial impact on the HIV epidemic. One such program is the MEMA kwa Vijana (“Good things for young people”) program in rural Tanzania. This program includes in-school sexual and reproductive health (SRH) education for pupils in their last three years of primary education (12- to 15-year-olds) that provides them with the knowledge and skills needed to delay sexual debut and to reduce sexual risk taking. Between 1999 and 2002, the program was trialed in ten randomly chosen rural communities in the Mwanza Region of Tanzania; ten similar communities that did not receive the intervention acted as controls. Since 2004, the program has been scaled up to cover more communities.
Why Was This Study Done?
Although the quality and coverage of the MEMA kwa Vijana program was good, a 2001/2002 evaluation found no evidence that the intervention had reduced the incidence of HIV (the proportion of the young people in the trial who became HIV positive during the follow-up period) or the prevalence (the proportion of the young people in the trial who were HIV positive at the end of the follow-up period) of herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2, another sexually transmitted virus). However, the evaluation found improvements in SRH knowledge, in reported sexual attitudes, and in some reported sexual behaviors. Evaluations of other HIV prevention programs in other developing countries have also failed to provide strong evidence that such programs decrease the risk of HIV infection or other biological outcomes such as the frequency of other sexually transmitted infections or pregnancies, even when SRH knowledge improves. One possibility is that it takes some time for improved SRH knowledge to be reflected in true changes in sexual behavior and in HIV prevalence. In this follow-up study, therefore, researchers investigate the long-term impact of the MEMA kwa Vijana program on HIV and HSV-2 prevalence and ask whether the improvement in knowledge, reported attitudes and sexual risk behaviours seen at the 3-year follow up has persisted.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
In 2007/8, the researchers surveyed nearly 14,000 young people who had attended the trial schools between 1999 and 2002. Each participant had their HIV and HSV-2 status determined and answered questions (for example, “can HIV be caught by sexual intercourse (making love) with someone,” and “if a girl accepts a gift from a boy, must she agree to have sexual intercourse (make love) with him?”) to provide three composite sexual knowledge scores and one composite attitude score. 1.8% of the male and 4.0% of the female participants were HIV positive; 25.9% and 41.4% of the male and female participants, respectively, were HSV-2 positive. The prevalences were similar among the young people whose trial communities had been randomly allocated to receive the MEMA kwa Vijana Program and those whose communities had not received it, indicating that the MEMA kwa Vijana intervention program had not reduced the risk of HIV or HSV-2. The intervention program was associated, however, with a reduction in the proportion of men reporting more than four sexual partners in their lifetime and with an increase in reported condom use at last sex with a non-regular partner among women. Finally, although the intervention had still increased SRH knowledge, it now had had no impact on reported attitudes to sexual risk, reported pregnancies, or other reported risky sexual behaviors beyond what might have happened due to chance.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that, in the MEMA kwa Vijana trial, SRH knowledge improved and that this improved knowledge was retained for many years. Disappointingly, however, this intervention program had only a limited effect on reported sexual behaviors and no effect on HIV and HSV-2 prevalence at the 9-year follow-up. Although these findings may not be generalizable to other adolescent populations, they suggest that intervention programs that target only adolescents might not be particularly effective. Young people might find it hard to put their improved skills and knowledge into action when challenged, for example, by widespread community attitudes such as acceptance of older male–younger female relationships. Thus, the researchers suggest that the integration of youth HIV prevention programs within risk reduction programs that tackle sexual norms and expectations in all age groups might be a more successful approach and should be evaluated.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000287.
This study is further discussed in a PLoS Medicine Perspective by Rachel Jewkes
More information about the MEMA kwa Vijana program is available at their Web site
Information is available from the Programme for Research and Capacity Building in Sexual and Reproductive Health and HIV in Developing Countries on recent and ongoing research on HIV infection and other STIs
Information is available from the World Health Organization on HIV and on the health of young people
Information on HIV is available from UNAIDS
Information on HIV in children and adolescents is available from UNICEF
Information on HIV prevention interventions in the education sector is available from UNESCO
Information on HIV infection and AIDS is available from the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide information on HIV/AIDS and on HIV/AIDS among youth (in English and Spanish)
HIV InSitehas comprehensive information on all aspects of HIV/AIDS, including links to information on the prevention of HIV/AIDS
Information is available from Avert, an international AIDS charity, on many aspects of HIV/AIDS, including information on HIV and AIDS prevention and AIDS and sex education (in English and Spanish)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000287
PMCID: PMC2882431  PMID: 20543994
7.  Qualitative Inquiry into Premarital Sexual Behaviours and Contraceptive Use among Multiethnic Young Women: Implications for Education and Future Research 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(12):e51745.
Background
This study was a qualitative investigation into sexual attitudes and behaviours, and contraceptive use among Malaysian youth, based on constructs from the health belief model, theory of reasoned action, and problem behaviour theory.
Methods
A total of 34 focus group discussions with 185 participants were conducted among the Malay (35%), Chinese (34%), and Indian (31%) young females between November, 2010 and April, 2011. The participants were secondary school students and university undergraduates from Selangor and the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur.
Results
The study found a lack of knowledge about sexual issues and contraception among the participants. Many engaged in unprotected sexual intercourse and relied on periodic abstinence, natural methods, and traditional folk pregnancy preventive practices. The findings also revealed numerous categories of factors influencing sexual attitudes and behaviours: ethnic group and religion, level of religiosity, peer pressure and norms, and parental monitoring. With regard to condom use, factors such as embarrassment about condom acquisition, low perceived susceptibility to sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and perceived efficacy of traditional and folk methods of contraception, were uncovered from the discussions.
Conclusion
This study underscores the importance of development of culturally specific interventions that address the identified promoting factors of premarital sex. Behavioral interventions to promote condom use should increase awareness about condom effectiveness against not only unwanted pregnancies but also STIs.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0051745
PMCID: PMC3522702  PMID: 23272156
8.  Predictors of emergency contraceptive use among regular female students at Adama University, Central Ethiopia 
Background
One of the key interventions to reduce unintended pregnancy and unsafe abortion outlined in the national youth strategy is availability of emergency contraception. However, there are no studies which document emergency contraception use and the factors influencing the use of emergency contraceptives among university girls in Ethiopia. This study was carried out to assess emergency contraception use and its predictor factors among regular female students at Adama University.
Methods
A cross-sectional study was conducted during the month of February 2009, among randomly selected 660 female students of Adama University Central Ethiopia. Data were collected through pre-tested selfadministered questionnaire. Bivariate and multivariable logistic regression models were fitted to identify variables predicting emergency contraception use.
Results
One hundred ninety four (29.4%) students were sexually active and 63 (9.4%) had a previous history of pregnancy. And most of the pregnancies (92%) were unintended. Majority (77.7%) of pregnancies were terminated by way of induced abortions carried out by untrained persons. Only 26.7% of those who had unprotected sex used emergency contraception. Lack of knowledge, fear of being seen by others, and inconvenient service delivery were pointed out as the main reasons for not using emergency contraceptives. Previous use of contraceptives (AOR: 1.953; 95% CI = 1.72- 6.345), being married (AOR: 9.254; 95% CI = 2.538-20.73) and age of 20 years and above (AOR: 2.372; 95% CI = 1.102-7.246) were significant predictors use of emergency contraception, while poor knowledge of emergency contraception was a significant predictor of non-use of emergency contraception (AOR: 0.09; 95% CI = 0.041-0.189).
Conclusion
The study pointed out the need for increasing the knowledge of university going young women about emergency contraception, and the need for availing youth friendly reproductive health services to promote preventive behavior.
PMCID: PMC3172641  PMID: 21918703
Emergency contraception; contraception; predictor; Adama University; Ethiopia
9.  Intention to use condom among students in Agena preparatory school, Guraghe Zone, Ethiopia: with the application of health believe model 
Archives of Public Health  2013;71(1):23.
Background
HIV/AIDS is affecting the majority of the population, particularly the productive age group between 15–49 years resulting in social and economic crisis. The rate of HIV infection would undoubtedly be lowered if safe sexual practices such as correct and consistent use of condoms had been followed. The aim of this study was therefore to assess intention to use condom among students in Agena preparatory school, Guraghe zone, Ethiopia. Agena is an urban area in south Ethiopia.
Methods
Institution based cross-sectional study was conducted. A two stage sampling was applied by stratifying students in to (grade 11 and 12) with each grade having four section (A, B, C, D). Then systematic random sampling was used to select students in each section. Analyses of frequencies and summary measures like mean and Standard Deviation of selected variables were done. Bivariate and multivariate analysis was done to measure the association between different variables.
Results
Out of 450 respondents 122(27.1%) had history of sexual intercourse. Of whom the majority 86(70.5%) had two or more sexual partners. And 45(37%) never used condom, 12(9.8%) used condom sometimes and 65(53.2%) used condom every time during sex. About 300(67.7%) of the respondents have no intention to use condom in the next sexual encounter. On multivariate analysis those students who have high perceived susceptibility (AOR = 1.94 (1.16-3.2)) and high self-efficacy (AOR = 27 (14.4-54.2)) were more likely to have intention to use condom than others.
Conclusions
Intention to use condom in the next sexual intercourse is very low. Information Education and Communication (IEC) on reducing number of sexual partners along with condom use promotion targeting in-school adolescents should be the primary strategy of HIV/AIDS prevention process.
doi:10.1186/0778-7367-71-23
PMCID: PMC3844754  PMID: 24107085
Condom; Intention to use; Health believe model; Students
10.  Risk drinking and contraception effectiveness among college women 
Psychology & health  2008;23(8):965-981.
Risk drinking, especially binge drinking, and unprotected sex may co-occur in college women and increase the risks of STI exposure and pregnancy, but the relationships among these behaviors are incompletely understood. A survey was administered to 2012 women of ages 18–24 enrolled in a public urban university. One-quarter of the college women (23%) drank eight or more drinks per week on average, and 63% binged in the past 90 days, with 64% meeting criteria for risk drinking. Nearly all sexually active women used some form of contraception (94%), but 18% used their method ineffectively and were potentially at risk for pregnancy. Forty-four percent were potentially at risk for STIs due to ineffective or absent condom usage. Ineffective contraception odds were increased by the use of barrier methods of contraception, reliance on a partner’s decision to use contraception, and risk drinking, but were decreased by the use of barrier with hormonal contraception, being White, and later age to initiate contraception. In contrast, ineffective condom use was increased by reliance on a partner’s decision to use condoms, the use of condoms for STI prevention only, and by risk drinking. Thirteen percent of university women were risk drinkers and using ineffective contraception, and 31% were risk drinkers and failing to use condoms consistently. Risk drinking is related to ineffective contraception and condom use. Colleges should promote effective contraception and condom use for STI prevention and consider coordinating their programs to reduce drinking with programs for reproductive health. Emphasizing the use of condoms for both pregnancy prevention and STI prevention may maximize women’s interest in using them.
doi:10.1080/08870440701596569
PMCID: PMC4148693  PMID: 25160922
Binge drinking; contraception; college; women’s health; pregnancy prevention
11.  Systematic Review of Abstinence-Plus HIV Prevention Programs in High-Income Countries 
PLoS Medicine  2007;4(9):e275.
Background
Abstinence-plus (comprehensive) interventions promote sexual abstinence as the best means of preventing HIV, but also encourage condom use and other safer-sex practices. Some critics of abstinence-plus programs have suggested that promoting safer sex along with abstinence may undermine abstinence messages or confuse program participants; conversely, others have suggested that promoting abstinence might undermine safer-sex messages. We conducted a systematic review to investigate the effectiveness of abstinence-plus interventions for HIV prevention among any participants in high-income countries as defined by the World Bank.
Methods and Findings
Cochrane Collaboration systematic review methods were used. We included randomized and quasi-randomized controlled trials of abstinence-plus programs for HIV prevention among any participants in any high-income country; trials were included if they reported behavioural or biological outcomes. We searched 30 electronic databases without linguistic or geographical restrictions to February 2007, in addition to contacting experts, hand-searching conference abstracts, and cross-referencing papers. After screening 20,070 abstracts and 325 full published and unpublished papers, we included 39 trials that included approximately 37,724 North American youth. Programs were based in schools (10), community facilities (24), both schools and community facilities (2), health care facilities (2), and family homes (1). Control groups varied. All outcomes were self-reported. Quantitative synthesis was not possible because of heterogeneity across trials in programs and evaluation designs. Results suggested that many abstinence-plus programs can reduce HIV risk as indicated by self-reported sexual behaviours. Of 39 trials, 23 found a protective program effect on at least one sexual behaviour, including abstinence, condom use, and unprotected sex (baseline n = 19,819). No trial found adverse program effects on any behavioural outcome, including incidence of sex, frequency of sex, sexual initiation, or condom use. This suggests that abstinence-plus approaches do not undermine program messages encouraging abstinence, nor do they undermine program messages encouraging safer sex. Findings consistently favoured abstinence-plus programs over controls for HIV knowledge outcomes, suggesting that abstinence-plus programs do not confuse participants. Results for biological outcomes were limited by floor effects. Three trials assessed self-reported diagnosis or treatment of sexually transmitted infection; none found significant effects. Limited evidence from seven evaluations suggested that some abstinence-plus programs can reduce pregnancy incidence. No trial observed an adverse biological program effect.
Conclusions
Many abstinence-plus programs appear to reduce short-term and long-term HIV risk behaviour among youth in high-income countries. Programs did not cause harm. Although generalisability may be somewhat limited to North American adolescents, these findings have critical implications for abstinence-based HIV prevention policies. Suggestions are provided for improving the conduct and reporting of trials of abstinence-plus and other behavioural interventions to prevent HIV.
In their systematic review, Underhill and colleagues found that abstinence-plus programs appear to reduce short-term and long-term HIV risk behavior among youth in high-income countries.
Editors' Summary
Background.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes AIDS, is most often spread through unprotected sex (vaginal, oral, or anal) with an infected partner. Individuals can reduce their risk of becoming infected with HIV by abstaining from sex or delaying first sex, by being faithful to one partner or having few partners, and by always using a male or female condom. Various HIV prevention programs targeted at young people encourage these protective sexual behaviors. Abstinence-only programs (for example, Project Reality in the US) present no sex before marriage as the only means of reducing the risk of catching HIV. Abstinence-plus programs (for example, the UK Apause program) also promote sexual abstinence as the safest behavior choice to prevent HIV infection. However, recognizing that not everyone will remain abstinent, and that in many locations same-sex couples are not permitted to marry, abstinence-plus programs also encourage young people who do become sexually active to use condoms and other safer-sex strategies. Safer-sex programs, a third approach, teach people how to protect themselves from pregnancy and infections and might recommend delaying first sex until they are physically and emotionally ready, but do not promote sexual abstinence over safer-sex strategies such as condom use.
Why Was This Study Done?
There is considerable controversy, particularly in the US, about the relative merits of abstinence-based programs for HIV prevention. Abstinence-only programs, which the US government supports, have been criticized because they provide no information to protect participants who do become sexually active. Critics of abstinence-plus programs contend that teaching young people about safer sex undermines the abstinence message, confuses participants, and may encourage them to become sexually active. Conversely, some people worry that the promotion of abstinence might undermine the safer-sex messages of abstinence-plus programs. Little has been done, however, to look methodically at how these programs change sexual behavior. In this study, the researchers have systematically reviewed studies of abstinence-plus interventions for HIV prevention in high-income countries to get an idea of their effect on sexual behavior.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
In an extensive search for existing abstinence-plus studies, the researchers identified 39 trials done in high-income countries that compared the effects on sexual behavior of various abstinence-plus programs with the effects of no intervention or of other interventions designed to prevent HIV infection. All the trials met strict preset criteria (for example, trial participants had to have an unknown or negative HIV status), and all studies meeting the criteria turned out to involve young people in the US, Canada, or the Bahamas, nearly 40,000 participants in total. In 23 of the trials, the abstinence-plus program studied was found to improve at least one self-reported protective sexual behavior (for example, it increased abstinence or condom use) when compared to the other interventions in the trial; none of the trials reported a significant negative effect on any behavioral outcome. Limited evidence from a few trials indicated that some abstinence-plus programs reduced pregnancy rates, providing a biological indicator of program effectiveness. Conversely, there were no indications of adverse biological outcomes such as an increased occurrence of sexually transmitted diseases in any of the trials.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that some abstinence-plus programs reduce HIV risk behavior among young people in North America. Importantly, the findings do not uncover evidence of any abstinence-plus program causing harm. That is, fears that these programs might encourage young people to become sexually active earlier or confuse them about the use of condoms for HIV prevention seem unfounded. These findings may not apply to all abstinence-plus programs in high-income countries, do not include low-income countries, do not specifically address nonheterosexual risk behavior, and are subject to limited reliability in self-reporting of sexual activity by young people. Nonetheless, this analysis provides support for the use of abstinence-plus programs, particularly in light of another systematic review by the same authors (A systematic review of abstinence-only programs for prevention of HIV infection, published in the British Medical Journal), which found that abstinence-only programs did not reduce pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, or sexual behaviors that increase HIV risk. Abstinence-plus programs, these findings suggest, represent a reasonable strategy for HIV prevention among young people in high-income countries.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0040275.
• US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases fact sheet on HIV infection and AIDS
• Information from the UK charity AVERT on all aspects of HIV and AIDS, including HIV and AIDS prevention
• US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fact sheet on HIV/AIDS among young people (in English and Spanish)
• Information on Project Reality, a US abstinence-only program
• Information on Reducing the Risk and on Apause, US and UK abstinence-plus programs, respectively
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040275
PMCID: PMC1976624  PMID: 17880259
12.  Risks for STIs/HIV infection among Madawalabu University students, Southeast Ethiopia: a cross sectional study 
Reproductive Health  2013;10:38.
Introduction
In developing nations, the spread of STIs/HIV infection continues to affect millions of young and productive population. In Ethiopia youths including university/college students are at greater risk of STIs including HIV infection often due to many risky sexual behaviors. Although there are some anecdotal evidences suggesting widespread unsafe sexual practices among university students, the paucity of research finding, especially in newly established public universities are the major bottle necks to commence feasible interventions. Therefore, this study was designed to assess the magnitudes and factors associated with risks for STIs/HIV infections among Madawalabu university students in Southeast Ethiopia.
Methodology
An institution based cross sectional study was conducted from May-June 2012. A total of 390 students were selected using stratified then simple random sampling method. Descriptive statistics, binary logistic and multivariable logistic regression analyses were employed to identify factors associated with risks for STIs/HIV infection.
Result
Combined risk measure showed that 51.4% of students were at risk of having STIs and/or HIV infection. Practicing casual sex/sex for benefits with first sexual partner (OR = 3.9[95%C.I: 1.86-8.03]), life time multiple sexual partner (had more than three sexual partners) (OR = 2.7[95%C.I: 1.13-6.28]), and number of sexual partners in the last 12 months (four and above) (OR = 4.8[95%C.I: 1.77-13.53]) showed statistically significant association with risks for STIs and/or HIV infection. Practicing casual sex/ sex for any benefit with their first sexual partner (AOR = 3.9 [95%CI: 1.80-8.50]) and multiple sexual partners in the last 12 months (four and above) (AOR = 3.7 [95%C.I: 1.15-11.80]) were found to be the independent predictors of risks for STIs and/or HIV infection.
Conclusion
This study has identified risks and risk sexual behaviors for STIs and/or HIV infection on university students. The knowledge of the students towards STIs and/or HIV is unsatisfactory. More than half of the students were at risk for STIs and/or HIV infection. Casual/benefit based sexual relationship with first sexual partner and having multiple sexual partners (≥4 sexual partners) in the last 12 months were independent predictors of STIs and/or HIV infections. Therefore, university based, risk reduction and behavior change focused interventions are recommended.
doi:10.1186/1742-4755-10-38
PMCID: PMC3735396  PMID: 24069905
13.  Contraceptive Method at First Sexual Intercourse and Subsequent Pregnancy Risk: Findings from a Secondary Analysis of 16-Year-Old Girls from the RIPPLE and SHARE Studies 
Purpose
Existing failure rate studies indicate that typical use of oral contraception (OC) results in fewer unplanned pregnancies than condom use, even among teenagers. However, comparative data on pregnancy risk associated with different contraceptive methods are lacking for younger teenagers starting their first sexual relationship. This study examined associations between contraceptive method at first intercourse and subsequent pregnancy in 16-year-old girls.
Methods
Six thousand three hundred forty-eight female pupils from 51 secondary schools completed a questionnaire at mean age 16 years; 2,501 girls reported sexual intercourse. Logistic regression (N = 1952) was used to model the association of contraceptive method at first intercourse with pregnancy.
Results
At first intercourse (median age 15 years) 54% reported using condoms only, 11% dual OC and condoms, 4% OC only, 4% emergency contraception, and 21% no effective method. Method used was associated with a similar method at a most recent intercourse. One in 10 girls reported a pregnancy. When compared to use of condoms only, greater pregnancy risk was found with no effective method (odds ratio [OR] 2.97, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.12–4.15) or OC only (OR 2.44, 95% CI 1.29–4.60). Pregnancy risk for dual use and emergency contraception did not differ from that for condoms only. Both significant effects were partially attenuated by adjusting for user characteristics and sexual activity.
Conclusions
Young teenagers may use OC less efficiently than condoms for pregnancy prevention. The characteristics of those using OC-only confirm vulnerability to unintended pregnancy, and suggest that alternative contraceptive strategies should be considered for these young women.
doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2008.06.006
PMCID: PMC2606907  PMID: 19101459
Oral contraception; Pregnancy; Adolescent
14.  Injectable and Oral Contraceptive Use and Cancers of the Breast, Cervix, Ovary, and Endometrium in Black South African Women: Case–Control Study 
PLoS Medicine  2012;9(3):e1001182.
A case-control study conducted in South Africa provides new estimates of the risk of specific cancers of the female reproductive system associated with use of injectable and oral contraceptives.
Background
Oral contraceptives are known to influence the risk of cancers of the female reproductive system. Evidence regarding the relationship between injectable contraceptives and these cancers is limited, especially in black South Africans, among whom injectable contraceptives are used more commonly than oral contraceptives.
Methods and Findings
We analysed data from a South African hospital-based case–control study of black females aged 18–79 y, comparing self-reported contraceptive use in patients with breast (n = 1,664), cervical (n = 2,182), ovarian (n = 182), and endometrial (n = 182) cancer, with self-reported contraceptive use in 1,492 control patients diagnosed with cancers with no known relationship to hormonal contraceptive use. We adjusted for potential confounding factors, including age, calendar year of diagnosis, education, smoking, alcohol, parity/age at first birth, and number of sexual partners. Among controls, 26% had used injectable and 20% had used oral contraceptives. For current and more recent users versus never users of oral or injectable contraceptives, the odds ratios (ORs) for breast cancer were significantly increased in users of oral and/or injectable contraceptives (OR 1.66, 95% CI 1.28–2.16, p<0.001) and separately among those exclusively using oral (1.57, 1.03–2.40, p = 0.04) and exclusively using injectable (OR 1.83, 1.31–2.55, p<0.001) contraceptives; corresponding ORs for cervical cancer were 1.38 (1.08–1.77, p = 0.01), 1.01 (0.66–1.56, p = 0.96), and 1.58 (1.16–2.15, p = 0.004). There was no significant increase in breast or cervical cancer risk among women ceasing hormonal contraceptive use ≥10 y previously (p = 0.3 and p = 0.9, respectively). For durations of use ≥5 y versus never use, the ORs of ovarian cancer were 0.60 (0.36–0.99, p = 0.04) for oral and/or injectable contraceptive use and 0.07 (0.01–0.49, p = 0.008) for injectable use exclusively; corresponding ORs for endometrial cancer were 0.44 (0.22–0.86, p = 0.02) and 0.36 (0.11–1.26, p = 0.1).
Conclusions
In this study, use of oral and of injectable hormonal contraceptives was associated with a transiently increased risk of breast and cervical cancer and, for long durations of use, with a reduced risk of ovarian and endometrial cancer. The observed effects of injectable and of oral contraceptives on cancer risk in this study did not appear to differ substantially.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Hormonal contraceptives are among the most commonly used medications. Globally, more than 210 million women currently use either hormonal contraceptive pills or injectable contraceptives. Contraceptive pills usually contain manmade versions of the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone (the combined oral contraceptive, or “pill”); most injectable hormonal contraceptives contain only manmade progesterone preparations. Hormonal contraceptives, which prevent pregnancy by disrupting the cyclical changes in estrogen and progesterone levels that prepare the body for pregnancy, have revolutionized birth control since they first became available in the early 1960s. However, it is now known that taking the pill also influences women's risk of developing cancers of the female reproductive system. Current and recent users have an increased risk of developing breast and cervical cancer (the cervix is the structure that connects the womb to the vagina) compared to never users, although this increased risk quickly disappears when women stop taking the pill. By contrast, women who have used the pill have a reduced risk of developing ovarian cancer and cancer of the womb (endometrial cancer) compared to never users that increases with the duration of pill use and persists for many years after use ceases. These effects on reproductive system cancers are thought to occur because these cancers depend on naturally occurring sex hormones for their development and growth.
Why Was This Study Done?
Although the evidence that the pill influences the risk of developing cancers of the female reproductive system is extensive, much less is known about how injectable hormonal contraceptives affect cancer risk. In this hospital-based case–control study (a study that compares the characteristics of people with and without a specific condition), the researchers investigate the relationship between the use of oral and injectable hormonal contraceptives and cancers of the breast, cervix, ovary, and endometrium among black South African women. Injectable contraceptives have been used for longer in South Africa than elsewhere and are used more commonly than oral contraceptives among black South African women.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
As part of the Johannesburg Cancer Case Control Study, which recruits black patients attending Johannesburg public referral hospitals for cancer treatment, the researchers compared hormonal contraceptive use in women with breast, cervical, ovarian, or endometrial cancer with contraceptive use in women diagnosed with other cancers such as lung, colon, and rectal cancers, which are not known to be influenced by hormonal contraceptives. Among the controls, a quarter had used injectable contraceptives and a fifth had used oral contraceptives. After adjusting for other factors that might influence cancer risk such as age, smoking, and number of sexual partners, the odds ratio (OR) of breast cancer among current and recent users of oral and/or injectable contraceptives compared to never users was 1.66. That is, the risk of developing breast cancer among current and recent users of hormonal contraceptives was 1.66 times that among never users. For women using oral contraceptives exclusively or injectable contraceptives exclusively, the ORs of breast cancer were 1.57 and 1.83, respectively. There were also increases in cervical cancer risk among current and recent users of hormonal contraceptives compared to never users, but no significant increase in breast or cervical cancer risk among women who had ceased hormonal contraceptive use more than ten years previously. Finally, the use of hormonal contraceptives for more than five years reduced the risk of both ovarian and endometrial cancer.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that, among black women in South Africa, the use of oral or injectable hormonal contraceptives is associated with a transiently increased risk of breast and cervical cancer, and that extended use of these contraceptives is associated with a reduced risk of ovarian and endometrial cancer. Moreover, they suggest that the effects of oral versus injectable contraceptives on cancer risk do not differ substantially, although for endometrial and ovarian cancer the small number of cases exposed to injectable contraceptives limits the accuracy of the risk estimates. Other limitations of this study include the possibility that the findings may be affected by uncontrolled confounding. That is, women who used hormonal contraceptives may have shared other unidentified characteristics that affected their cancer risk. Nevertheless, these findings provide new information about the effects of oral and injectable hormonal contraceptives on cancer risk that should help women make informed decisions about their choice of contraceptive method.
Additional Information
Please access these web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001182.
The US National Cancer Institute provides information on breast cancer (including personal stories from breast cancer survivors), cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, and endometrial cancer for patients and health professionals, and a fact sheet on oral contraceptives and cancer risk (in English and Spanish)
Cancer Research UK also provides information on breast cancer, cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, and endometrial cancer and information about the birth control pill and cancer risk
Eyes on the Prize, an online support group for women who have had cancers of the female reproductive system, has personal stories; further personal stories about breast, cervical, and ovarian cancer are provided by the charity Healthtalkonline
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001182
PMCID: PMC3295825  PMID: 22412354
15.  Correlates of condom use among sexually experienced secondary school male students in Nairobi, Kenya 
This study aimed to examine perceptual factors associated with condom use, and the relationship between condom use and the timing of sexual debut, among male secondary-school students in Nairobi, Kenya. Data are from the TeenWeb study, a school-based project that used the World Wide Web to assess the health needs of secondary-school students, and tested the web's utility as a teaching and research modality. Analyses are based on 214 sexually experienced males aged 14 to 20 years who completed web-based questionnaires about their sexual attitudes and behaviour. Results indicate that students did not see themselves as susceptible to HIV/AIDS and believed condom effectiveness in preventing HIV to be low. Consequently, only a marginal association was found between agreeing that buying condoms is embarrassing and condom use at first sexual intercourse. However, contrary to expectation, agreeing that condoms often break (almost half of participants) was associated with a higher likelihood of condom use at first sex. Each year of delay in sexual debut increased the likelihood of using a condom at first sex by 1.44 times. In turn, having used a condom at first sex increased the likelihood of using one at the most recent sex by 4.81 times, and elevated general condom use (“most or all the time”) by 8.76 times. Interventions to increase awareness about the role of condoms in preventing HIV, delay sexual initiation, and teach proper condom use among secondary-school students in Nairobi are needed.
PMCID: PMC2788491  PMID: 19399311
Adolescents; HIV/STDs; condom use; Kenya; Africa; Internet
16.  Are Nepali students at risk of HIV? A cross-sectional study of condom use at first sexual intercourse among college students in Kathmandu 
Background
Condoms offer the best protection against unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. Little research has been conducted to determine the prevalence and investigate the influencing factors of condom use at first sexual intercourse among college students.
Methods
A self-administered questionnaire was completed by 1137 college students (573 male and 564 female) in the Kathmandu Valley. Analyses were confined to 428 students who reported that they have ever had sexual intercourse. The association between condom use at first sexual intercourse and the explanatory variables was assessed in bivariate analysis using Chi-square tests. The associations were further explored using multivariate logistic analysis in order to identify the significant predictors after controlling for other variables.
Results
Among the sexually active students, less than half (48%) had used condoms during first sexual intercourse. The results from the logistic regression analysis revealed that age, caste and/or ethnicity, age at first sexual intercourse, types of first sex partner, alcohol consumption and mass media exposure are significant predictors for condom use at first sexual intercourse among the college students. Students in the older age groups who had first sex were about four times (16 to 19 years old) (OR = 3.5) more likely and nine times (20 or older) (OR = 8.9) more likely than the students who had sex before 16 years of age to use condoms at first sexual intercourse.
Moreover, those students who had first sex with commercial sex worker were five times (OR = 4.9) more likely than those who had first sex with their spouse to use condoms at first sex. Furthermore, students who had higher exposure to both print and electronic media were about twice (OR = 1.75) as likely as those who had lower media exposure to use condoms. On the other hand, students who frequently consumed alcohol were 54% (OR = 0.46) less likely to use condoms at first sexual intercourse than those who never or rarely consumed alcohol.
Conclusions
The rate of condom use at first sexual intercourse is low among the students. It indicates students are exposed to health hazards through their sexual behaviour. If low use of condom at first sex continues, vulnerable sexual networks will grow among them that allow quicker spreading of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV. Findings from this study point to areas that policy and programmes can address to provide youth with access to the kinds of information and services they need to achieve healthy sexual and reproductive lives.
doi:10.1186/1758-2652-13-7
PMCID: PMC2847986  PMID: 20196856
17.  Oral and anal sex practices among high school youth in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:5.
Background
Understanding the full range of sexual behaviors of young people is crucial in developing appropriate interventions to prevent and control sexually transmitted infections including HIV. However, such information is meager in developing countries. The objective of this study was to describe oral and anal sex practices and identify associated factors among high school youth.
Methods
A cross-sectional study was conducted among high school youth in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. A multi-stage sampling procedure was followed to select a representative sample of school youth. The total sample size for this study was 3840. Data were collected using a self-administered questionnaire. Data analysis was guided by the ecological framework.
Results
The overall proportion of people who reported ever having oral sex was 5.4% (190) and that of anal sex was 4.3% (154). Of these 51.6% (98) had oral sex and 57.1% (87) had anal sex in the past 12 months. Multiple partnerships were reported by 61.2% of the respondents who had oral sex and 51.1% of students practicing anal sex. Consistent condom use was reported by 12.2% of those practicing oral sex and 26.1% of anal sex. Reasons for oral and anal sex included prevention of pregnancy, preserving virginity, and reduction of HIV and STIs transmission. Oral sex practice was strongly and significantly associated with perception of best friends engagement in oral sex (AOR = 5.7; 95% CI 3.6-11.2) and having illiterate mothers (AOR = 11.5; 95%CI 6.4-18.5). Similarly, anal sex practice was strongly and significantly associated with favorable attitude towards anal sex (AOR = 6.2; 95%CI 3.8-12.4), and perceived best friends engagement in anal sex (AOR = 9.7; 95%CI 5.4-17.7).
Conclusion
Considerable proportion of adolescents had engaged in oral and anal sex practices. Multiple sexual partnerships were common while consistent condom use was low. Sexual health education and behavior change communication strategies need to cover a full range of sexual practices.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-5
PMCID: PMC3265418  PMID: 22216887
Youth; Sexual and reproductive health; Oral sex; Anal sex; HIV; STIs
18.  The Long-Term Effects of a Peer-Led Sex Education Programme (RIPPLE): A Cluster Randomised Trial in Schools in England 
PLoS Medicine  2008;5(11):e224.
Background
Peer-led sex education is widely believed to be an effective approach to reducing unsafe sex among young people, but reliable evidence from long-term studies is lacking. To assess the effectiveness of one form of school-based peer-led sex education in reducing unintended teenage pregnancy, we did a cluster (school) randomised trial with 7 y of follow-up.
Methods and Findings
Twenty-seven representative schools in England, with over 9,000 pupils aged 13–14 y at baseline, took part in the trial. Schools were randomised to either peer-led sex education (intervention) or to continue their usual teacher-led sex education (control). Peer educators, aged 16–17 y, were trained to deliver three 1-h classroom sessions of sex education to 13- to 14-y-old pupils from the same schools. The sessions used participatory learning methods designed to improve the younger pupils' skills in sexual communication and condom use and their knowledge about pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), contraception, and local sexual health services. Main outcome measures were abortion and live births by age 20 y, determined by anonymised linkage of girls to routine (statutory) data. Assessment of these outcomes was blind to sex education allocation. The proportion of girls who had one or more abortions before age 20 y was the same in each arm (intervention, 5.0% [95% confidence interval (CI) 4.0%–6.3%]; control, 5.0% [95% CI 4.0%–6.4%]). The odds ratio (OR) adjusted for randomisation strata was 1.07 (95% CI 0.80–1.42, p = 0.64, intervention versus control). The proportion of girls with one or more live births by 20.5 y was 7.5% (95% CI 5.9%–9.6%) in the intervention arm and 10.6% (95% CI 6.8%–16.1%) in the control arm, adjusted OR 0.77 (0.51–1.15). Fewer girls in the peer-led arm self-reported a pregnancy by age 18 y (7.2% intervention versus 11.2% control, adjusted OR 0.62 [95% CI 0.42–0.91], weighted for non-response; response rate 61% intervention, 45% control). There were no significant differences for girls or boys in self-reported unprotected first sex, regretted or pressured sex, quality of current sexual relationship, diagnosed sexually transmitted diseases, or ability to identify local sexual health services.
Conclusion
Compared with conventional school sex education at age 13–14 y, this form of peer-led sex education was not associated with change in teenage abortions, but may have led to fewer teenage births and was popular with pupils. It merits consideration within broader teenage pregnancy prevention strategies.
Trial registration:
ISRCTN (ISRCTN94255362).
Judith Stephenson and colleagues report on a cluster randomized trial in London of school-based peer-led sex education and whether it reduced unintended teenage pregnancy.
Editors' Summary
Background.
Teenage pregnancies are fraught with problems. Children born to teenage mothers are often underweight, which can affect their long-term health; young mothers have a high risk of poor mental health after the birth; and teenage parents and their children are at increased risk of living in poverty. Little wonder, then, that faced with one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in Western Europe, the Department of Health in England launched a national Teenage Pregnancy Strategy in 2000 to reduce teenage pregnancies. The main goal of the strategy is to halve the 1998 under-18 pregnancy rate—there were 46.6 pregnancies for every 1,000 young women in this age group in that year—by 2010. Approaches recommended in the strategy to achieve this goal include the provision of effective sexual health advice services for young people, active engagement of health, social, youth support, and other services in the reduction of teenage pregnancies, and the improvement of sex and relationships education (SRE).
Why Was This Study Done?
Although the annual under-18 pregnancy rate in England is falling, it is still very high, and it is extremely unlikely that the main goal of the Teenage Pregnancy Strategy will be achieved. Experts are, therefore, looking for better ways to reduce both teenage pregnancy rates and the high rates of sexual transmitted diseases among teenagers. Many believe that peer-led SRE—the teaching (sharing) of sexual health information, values, and behaviours by people of a similar age or status group—might be a good approach to try. Peers, they suggest, might convey information about sexual health and relationships better than teachers. However, little is known about the long-term effectiveness of peer-led SRE. In this randomized cluster trial, the researchers compare the effects of a peer-led SRE program and teacher-led sex education given to13- to 14-y-old pupils on abortion and live birth numbers among young women up to age 20 y. In a cluster randomized trial, participants are randomly assigned to the interventions being compared in “clusters”; in this trial, each “cluster” is a school.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
Twenty-seven schools in England (about 9,000 13- to 14-y-old pupils) participated in the RIPPLE (Randomized Intervention of PuPil-Led sex Education) trial. Each school was randomly assigned to peer-led SRE (the intervention arm) or to existing teacher-led SRE (the control arm). For peer-led SRE, trained 16- to 17-y-old peer educators gave three 1-h SRE sessions to the younger pupils in their schools. These sessions included practice with condoms, role play to improve sexual negotiating skills, and exercises to improve knowledge about sexual health. The researchers then used routine data on abortions and live births to find out how many female study participants had had an unintended pregnancy before the age of 20 y. One in 20 girls in both study arms had had one or more abortions. Slightly more girls in the control arm than in the intervention arm had had live births, but the difference was small and might have occurred by chance. However, significantly more girls in the intervention arm (11.2%) self-reported a pregnancy by age 18 than in the intervention arm (7.2%). There were no differences between the two arms for girls or boys in any other aspect of sexual health, including sexually transmitted diseases.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that the peer-led SRE program used in this trial had no effect on the number of teenage abortions but may have led to slightly fewer live births among the young women in the study. This particular peer-led SRE program was very short so a more extended program might have had a more marked effect on teenage pregnancy rates; this possibility needs to be tested, particularly since the pupils preferred peer-led SRE to teacher-led SRE. Even though peer-led SRE requires more resources than teacher-led SRE, this form of SRE should probably still be considered as part of a broad teenage prevention strategy, suggest the researchers. But, they warn, their findings should also “temper high expectations about the long-term impact of peer-led approaches” on young people's sexual health.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0050224.
This study is further discussed in a PLoS Medicine Perspective by David Ross
Every Child Matters, a Web site produced by the UK government, includes information on teenage pregnancy, the Teenage Pregnancy Strategy, and teenage pregnancy statistics in England
Directgov, an official government Web site for UK citizens, provides advice for parents on talking to children about sex and teenage pregnancyand advice for young people on sexual health and preventing pregnancy
Teachernet, a UK source of online publications for schools, also provides information for parents about sex and relationships education and the UK government's current guidance on SRE in schools
Avert, an international AIDS charity, also provides a fact sheet on sex education
The Sex Education Forum in the UK is the national authority on Sex and Relationships Education
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050224
PMCID: PMC2586352  PMID: 19067478
19.  Contraception use and pregnancy among 15–24 year old South African women: a nationally representative cross-sectional survey 
BMC Medicine  2007;5:31.
Background
Adolescent reproductive health has not continued to receive the attention it deserves since the start of the HIV epidemic. In South Africa, high numbers of adolescent women report pregnancies that are unwanted and yet few have accessed available termination of pregnancy services. Enabling contraception use is vital for meeting the goals of HIV prevention.
Methods
A nationally representative survey of South African 15–24 year olds was undertaken. Participants completed a questionnaire on sexual behaviour and provided an oral fluid sample for HIV testing. Analysis of the data was restricted to women (n = 6217), particularly those who reported being sexual active in the last 12 months (n = 3618) and was conducted using svy methods in the program STATA 8.0 to take account of sampling methods. Univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to explore factors associated with contraceptive use.
Results
Two thirds of all women reported having ever been sexually active and among these 87% were sexually active in the past 12 months. Among women who reported currently being sexually active, 52.2% reported using contraceptives. There was evidence of association between contraceptive use and being employed or a student (vs unemployed); fewer sex partners; type of last sex partner; having talked to last partner about condom use and having ever been pregnant.
Conclusion
Specific emphasis must be placed on encouraging young women to use contraceptive methods that offer protection against pregnancy and STIs/HIV. Our consistent finding of a relationship between discussing condom use with partners and condom use indicates the importance of involvement of male partners in women's contraceptive decisions.
doi:10.1186/1741-7015-5-31
PMCID: PMC2190760  PMID: 17963521
20.  Perceived gender inequality, sexual communication self-efficacy, and sexual behaviour among female undergraduate students in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam 
Sexual health  2012;9(4):314-322.
Background
Worldwide, the literature on sexual behaviour has documented associations between gender-based relationship inequality and sexual communication ability and the actual use of condoms or other contraceptives among young women. This study aimed to examine these associations among undergraduate female students in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam.
Methods
A cross-sectional survey of 1181 female third-year students from two universities in the Mekong Delta was conducted. Latent variable modelling and logistic regression were employed to examine the hypothesised associations.
Results
Among the 72.4% of students who had ever had boyfriends, 44.8% indicated that their boyfriends had asked for sex, 13% had had penile–vaginal sex and 10.3% had had oral sex. For those who had had penile–vaginal sex, 33% did not use any contraceptive method, including condoms, during their first sexual intercourse. The greater a student’s perception that women were subordinate to men, the lower her self-efficacy for sexual communication and the lower her actual frequency of discussing safer sex matters and asking her partner to use a condom. Sexual communication self-efficacy was associated with actual contraceptive use (P = 0.039) but only marginally with condom use (P = 0.092) at first sexual intercourse.
Conclusion
Sexual health promotion strategies should address the influence of gender relations on young women’s sexual communication self-efficacy and the subsequent impact on actual contraceptive and condom use.
doi:10.1071/SH11067
PMCID: PMC3435105  PMID: 22877589
condom use; contraceptive use; gender relations; women; youth
21.  Hormonal Contraception and the Risk of HIV Acquisition: An Individual Participant Data Meta-analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2015;12(1):e1001778.
In a meta-analysis of individual participant data, Charles Morrison and colleagues explore the association between hormonal contraception use and risk of HIV infection in sub-Saharan Africa.
Background
Observational studies of a putative association between hormonal contraception (HC) and HIV acquisition have produced conflicting results. We conducted an individual participant data (IPD) meta-analysis of studies from sub-Saharan Africa to compare the incidence of HIV infection in women using combined oral contraceptives (COCs) or the injectable progestins depot-medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) or norethisterone enanthate (NET-EN) with women not using HC.
Methods and Findings
Eligible studies measured HC exposure and incident HIV infection prospectively using standardized measures, enrolled women aged 15–49 y, recorded ≥15 incident HIV infections, and measured prespecified covariates. Our primary analysis estimated the adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) using two-stage random effects meta-analysis, controlling for region, marital status, age, number of sex partners, and condom use. We included 18 studies, including 37,124 women (43,613 woman-years) and 1,830 incident HIV infections. Relative to no HC use, the aHR for HIV acquisition was 1.50 (95% CI 1.24–1.83) for DMPA use, 1.24 (95% CI 0.84–1.82) for NET-EN use, and 1.03 (95% CI 0.88–1.20) for COC use. Between-study heterogeneity was mild (I2 < 50%). DMPA use was associated with increased HIV acquisition compared with COC use (aHR 1.43, 95% CI 1.23–1.67) and NET-EN use (aHR 1.32, 95% CI 1.08–1.61). Effect estimates were attenuated for studies at lower risk of methodological bias (compared with no HC use, aHR for DMPA use 1.22, 95% CI 0.99–1.50; for NET-EN use 0.67, 95% CI 0.47–0.96; and for COC use 0.91, 95% CI 0.73–1.41) compared to those at higher risk of bias (pinteraction = 0.003). Neither age nor herpes simplex virus type 2 infection status modified the HC–HIV relationship.
Conclusions
This IPD meta-analysis found no evidence that COC or NET-EN use increases women’s risk of HIV but adds to the evidence that DMPA may increase HIV risk, underscoring the need for additional safe and effective contraceptive options for women at high HIV risk. A randomized controlled trial would provide more definitive evidence about the effects of hormonal contraception, particularly DMPA, on HIV risk.
Editors’ Summary
Background
AIDS has killed about 36 million people since the first recorded case of the disease in 1981. About 35 million people (including 25 million living in sub-Saharan Africa) are currently infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and every year, another 2.3 million people become newly infected with HIV. At the beginning of the epidemic, more men than women were infected with HIV. Now, about half of all adults infected with HIV are women. In 2013, almost 60% of all new HIV infections among young people aged 15–24 years occurred among women, and it is estimated that, worldwide, 50 young women are newly infected with HIV every hour. Most women become infected with HIV through unprotected intercourse with an infected male partner—biologically, women are twice as likely to become infected through unprotected intercourse as men. A woman’s risk of becoming infected with HIV can be reduced by abstaining from sex, by having one or a few partners, and by always using condoms.
Why Was This Study Done?
Women and societies both benefit from effective contraception. When contraception is available, women can avoid unintended pregnancies, fewer women and babies die during pregnancy and childbirth, and maternal and infant health improves. However, some (but not all) observational studies (investigations that measure associations between the characteristics of participants and their subsequent development of specific diseases) have reported an association between hormonal contraceptive use and an increased risk of HIV acquisition by women. So, does hormonal contraception increase the risk of HIV acquisition among women or not? Here, to investigate this question, the researchers undertake an individual participant data meta-analysis of studies conducted in sub-Saharan Africa (a region where both HIV infection and unintended pregnancies are common) to compare the incidence of HIV infection (the number of new cases in a population during a given time period) among women using and not using hormonal contraception. Meta-analysis is a statistical method that combines the results of several studies; an individual participant data meta-analysis combines the data recorded for each individual involved in the studies rather than the aggregated results from each study.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers included 18 studies that measured hormonal contraceptive use and incident HIV infection among women aged 15–49 years living in sub-Saharan Africa in their meta-analysis. More than 37,000 women took part in these studies, and 1,830 became newly infected with HIV. Half of the women were not using hormonal contraception, a quarter were using depot-medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA; an injectable hormonal contraceptive), and the remainder were using combined oral contraceptives (COCs) or norethisterone enanthate (NET-EN, another injectable contraceptive). After adjustment for other factors likely to influence HIV acquisition (for example, condom use), women using DMPA had a 1.5-fold increased risk of HIV acquisition compared to women not using hormonal contraception. There was a slightly increased risk of HIV acquisition among women using NET-EN compared to women not using hormonal contraception, but this increase was not statistically significant (it may have happened by chance alone). There was no increased risk of HIV acquisition associated with COC use. DMPA use was associated with a 1.43-fold and 1.32-fold increased risk of HIV acquisition compared with COC and NET-EN use, respectively. Finally, neither age nor herpes simplex virus 2 infection status modified the effect of hormonal contraceptive use on HIV acquisition.
What Do These Findings Mean?
The findings of this individual patient data meta-analysis provide no evidence that COC or NET-EN use increases a woman’s risk of acquiring HIV, but add to the evidence suggesting that DMPA use increases the risk of HIV acquisition. These findings are likely to be more accurate than those of previous meta-analyses that used aggregated data but are likely to be limited by the quality, design, and representativeness of the studies included in the analysis. These findings nevertheless highlight the need to develop additional safe and effective contraceptive options for women at risk of HIV, particularly those living in sub-Saharan Africa, where although contraceptive use is generally low, DMPA is the most widely used hormonal contraceptive. In addition, these findings highlight the need to initiate randomized controlled trials to provide more definitive evidence of the effects of hormonal contraception, particularly DMPA, on HIV risk.
Additional Information.
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001778.
Information is available from the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases on HIV infection and AIDS
NAM/aidsmap provides basic information about HIV/AIDS, and summaries of recent research findings on HIV care and treatment, including personal stories about living with HIV/AIDS and a news report on this meta-analysis
Information is available from Avert, an international AIDS charity, on many aspects of HIV/AIDS, including detailed information on women, HIV, and AIDS, and on HIV and AIDS in South Africa (in English and Spanish); personal stories of women living with HIV are available
The World Health Organization provides information on all aspects of HIV/AIDS (in several languages); information about a 2012 WHO technical consultation about hormonal contraception and HIV
The 2013 UNAIDS World AIDS Day report provides up-to-date information about the AIDS epidemic and efforts to halt it; UNAIDS also provides information about HIV and hormonal contraception
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001778
PMCID: PMC4303292  PMID: 25612136
22.  Determinants of condom breakage among female sex workers in Karnataka, India 
BMC Public Health  2011;11(Suppl 6):S14.
Background
Condoms are effective in preventing the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, when properly used. However, recent data from surveys of female sex workers (FSWs) in Karnataka in south India, suggest that condom breakage rates may be quite high. It is important therefore to quantify condom breakage rates, and examine what factors might precipitate condom breakage, so that programmers can identify those at risk, and develop appropriate interventions.
Methods
We explored determinants of reported condom breakage in the previous month among 1,928 female sex workers in four districts of Karnataka using data from cross-sectional surveys undertaken from July 2008 to February 2009. Using stepwise multivariate logistic regression, we examined the possible determinants of condom breakage, controlling for several independent variables including the district and client load.
Results
Overall, 11.4% of FSWs reported at least one condom break in the previous month. FSWs were much more likely to report breakage if under 20 years of age (AOR 3.43, p = 0.005); if divorced/ separated/widowed (AOR 1.52, p = 0.012); if they were regular alcohol users (AOR 1.63, p = 0.005); if they mostly entertained clients in lodges/rented rooms (AOR 2.99, p = 0.029) or brothels (AOR 4.77, p = 0.003), compared to street based sex workers; if they had ever had anal sex (AOR 2.03, p = 0.006); if the sex worker herself (as opposed to the client) applied the condom at last use (AOR 1.90, p < 0.001); if they were inconsistent condom users (AOR 2.77, p < 0.001); and if they had never seen a condom demonstration (AOR 2.37, p < 0.001).
Conclusions
The reported incidence of condom breakage was high in this study, and this is a major concern for HIV/STI prevention programs, for which condom use is a key prevention tool. Younger and more marginalized female sex workers were most vulnerable to condom breakage. Special effort is therefore required to seek out such women and to provide information and skills on correct condom use. More research is also needed on what specific situational parameters might be important in predisposing women to condom breakage.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-S6-S14
PMCID: PMC3287552  PMID: 22376237
23.  Intimate partner violence perpetration, standard and gendered STI/HIV risk behaviour, and STI/HIV diagnosis among a clinic-based sample of men 
Sexually transmitted infections  2009;85(7):555-560.
Background
The estimated one in three women worldwide victimised by intimate partner violence (IPV) consistently demonstrate elevated STI/HIV prevalence, with their abusive male partners’ risky sexual behaviours and subsequent infection increasingly implicated. To date, little empirical data exist to characterise the nature of men's sexual risk as it relates to both their violence perpetration, and STI/HIV infection.
Methods
Data from a cross-sectional survey of men ages 18–35 recruited from three community-based health clinics in an urban metropolitan area of the northeastern US (n = 1585) were analysed to estimate the prevalence of IPV perpetration and associations of such violent behaviour with both standard (eg, anal sex, injection drug use) and gendered (eg, coercive condom practices, sexual infidelity, transactional sex with a female partner) forms of sexual-risk behaviour, and self-reported STI/HIV diagnosis.
Results
Approximately one-third of participants (32.7%) reported perpetrating physical or sexual violence against a female intimate partner in their lifetime; one in eight (12.4%) participants self-reported a history of STI/HIV diagnosis. Men's IPV perpetration was associated with both standard and gendered STI/HIV risk behaviours, and to STI/HIV diagnosis (OR 4.85, 95% CI 3.54 to 6.66). The association of men's IPV perpetration with STI/HIV diagnosis was partially attenuated (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 2.55, 95% CI 1.77 to 3.67) in the multivariate model, and a subset of gendered sexual-risk behaviours were found to be independently associated with STI/HIV diagnosis—for example, coercive condom practices (AOR 1.67, 95% CI 1.04 to 2.69), sexual infidelity (AOR 2.46, 95% CI 1.65 to 3.68), and transactional sex with a female partner (AOR 2.03, 95% CI 1.36 to 3.04).
Conclusions
Men's perpetration of physical and sexual violence against intimate partners is common among this population. Abusive men are at increased risk for STI/HIV, with gendered forms of sexual-risk behaviour partially responsible for this association. Thus, such men likely pose an elevated infection risk to their female partners. Findings indicate the need for interwoven sexual health promotion and violence prevention efforts targeted to men; critical to such efforts may be reduction in gendered sexual-risk behaviours and modification of norms of masculinity that likely promote both sexual risk and violence
doi:10.1136/sti.2009.036368
PMCID: PMC3623286  PMID: 19625287
24.  Intimate partner violence perpetration, standard and gendered STI/HIV risk behaviour, and STI/HIV diagnosis among a clinic-based sample of men 
Sexually Transmitted Infections  2009;85(7):555-560.
Background:
The estimated one in three women worldwide victimised by intimate partner violence (IPV) consistently demonstrate elevated STI/HIV prevalence, with their abusive male partners’ risky sexual behaviours and subsequent infection increasingly implicated. To date, little empirical data exist to characterise the nature of men’s sexual risk as it relates to both their violence perpetration, and STI/HIV infection.
Methods:
Data from a cross-sectional survey of men ages 18–35 recruited from three community-based health clinics in an urban metropolitan area of the northeastern US (n = 1585) were analysed to estimate the prevalence of IPV perpetration and associations of such violent behaviour with both standard (eg, anal sex, injection drug use) and gendered (eg, coercive condom practices, sexual infidelity, transactional sex with a female partner) forms of sexual-risk behaviour, and self-reported STI/HIV diagnosis.
Results:
Approximately one-third of participants (32.7%) reported perpetrating physical or sexual violence against a female intimate partner in their lifetime; one in eight (12.4%) participants self-reported a history of STI/HIV diagnosis. Men’s IPV perpetration was associated with both standard and gendered STI/HIV risk behaviours, and to STI/HIV diagnosis (OR 4.85, 95% CI 3.54 to 6.66). The association of men’s IPV perpetration with STI/HIV diagnosis was partially attenuated (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 2.55, 95% CI 1.77 to 3.67) in the multivariate model, and a subset of gendered sexual-risk behaviours were found to be independently associated with STI/HIV diagnosis—for example, coercive condom practices (AOR 1.67, 95% CI 1.04 to 2.69), sexual infidelity (AOR 2.46, 95% CI 1.65 to 3.68), and transactional sex with a female partner (AOR 2.03, 95% CI 1.36 to 3.04).
Conclusions:
Men’s perpetration of physical and sexual violence against intimate partners is common among this population. Abusive men are at increased risk for STI/HIV, with gendered forms of sexual-risk behaviour partially responsible for this association. Thus, such men likely pose an elevated infection risk to their female partners. Findings indicate the need for interwoven sexual health promotion and violence prevention efforts targeted to men; critical to such efforts may be reduction in gendered sexual-risk behaviours and modification of norms of masculinity that likely promote both sexual risk and violence
doi:10.1136/sti.2009.036368
PMCID: PMC3623286  PMID: 19625287
25.  Risky sexual practices among youth attending a sexually transmitted infection clinic in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania 
Background
Youth have been reported to be at a higher risk of acquiring STIs with significant adverse health and social consequences. Knowledge on the prevailing risky practices is an essential tool to guide preventive strategies.
Methods
Youth aged between 18 and 25 years attending an STI clinic were recruited. Social, sexual and demographic characteristics were elicited using a structured standard questionnaire. Blood samples were tested for syphilis and HIV infections. Urethral, high vaginal and cervical swabs were screened for common STI agents.
Results
A total of 304 youth were studied with mean age of 21.5 and 20.3 years for males and females respectively. 63.5% of youth were seeking STI care. The mean age of coitache was 16.4 and 16.2 years for males and females respectively. The first sexual partner was significantly older in females compared to male youth (23.0 vs 16.8 years) (p < 0.01). 93.2% of male youth reported more than one sexual lifetime partner compared to 63.0% of the females. Only 50% of males compared to 43% of females had ever used a condom and fewer than 8.3% of female youth used other contraceptive methods. 27.1% of pregnancies were unplanned and 60% of abortions were induced. 42.0% of female youth had received gifts/money for sexual favours. The HIV prevalence was 15.3% and 7.5% for females and males respectively. The prevalence of other STIs was relatively low. Among male youth, use of alcohol or illicit drugs was associated with increased risk of HIV infection. However, the age of sexual initiation, number of sexual partners or the age of the first sexual partner were not associated with increased risk of being HIV infected.
Conclusion
Most female youth seen at the STI clinic had their first sexual intercourse with older males. Youth were engaging in high risk unprotected sexual practices which were predisposing them to STIs and unplanned pregnancies. There is a great need to establish more youth-friendly reproductive health clinics, encourage consistent and correct use of condoms, delay in sexual debut and avoid older sexual partners in females.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-8-159
PMCID: PMC2596153  PMID: 19019224

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