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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.
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.
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
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
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)
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
PMCID: PMC4126911  PMID: 25099502
Sexual behaviour; Contraceptive Knowledge; Use; University students Tanzania
3.  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.
PMCID: PMC3914499  PMID: 24405283
awareness; utilization; contraception; university students; Botswana; conciencia; la utilizatión; la anticoncepción; los estudiantes universitarios; Botswana
4.  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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC3522702  PMID: 23272156
5.  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.
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.
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 NCT00248469
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
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
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)
PMCID: PMC2882431  PMID: 20543994
6.  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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC3844754  PMID: 24107085
Condom; Intention to use; Health believe model; Students
7.  Predictors of emergency contraceptive use among regular female students at Adama University, Central Ethiopia 
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.
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.
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).
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
8.  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.
PMCID: PMC1463960  PMID: 16682420
9.  Factors associated with utilization of emergency contraception among female students in Mizan-Tepi University, South West Ethiopia 
BMC Research Notes  2015;8:817.
Unintended pregnancy poses a major health problem on female students in higher educations. One of the key interventions to reduce unintended pregnancy and unsafe abortion as outlined in the national youth strategy is making emergency contraception (EC) available for these risky population. However, despite its availability in many countries, EC has failed to have the desired impact on unintended pregnancy rates and its utilization is limited in colleges and universities. The objective of this study was to assess factors associated with utilization of emergency contraception among female students in Mizan-Tepi University (MTU), south west Ethiopia.
A cross-sectional, institution based study was conducted from March 10–30, 2014. Multistage sampling technique was used to select the participants for the quantitative method whereas; purposive and volunteer sampling techniques were used for the qualitative study. Quantitative data were cleaned, coded and entered into Epi-data 3.1 and analyzed using SPSS version 20:00. Binary and multiple logistic regression analysis were done to determine the association between the use of EC and the predicator variables. Data from focus group discussion were transcribed and translated to English then coded, and categorized into similar themes.
A total of 489 female students were participated in the quantitative study making a response rate of 90.6 %. The finding shows that 46.3 % of them have used EC following unprotected sex. Female students’ knowledge about EC [AOR: 3.24; 95 % CI 1.32, 7.98], age at first sexual intercourse (i.e. ≥20 years) [AOR: 4.04; 95 % CI 1.72, 9.52], history of pregnancy [AOR: 3.12; 95 % CI 1.34, 7.24] and previous use of regular contraceptives [AOR: 5.01; 95 % CI 2.23, 11.27] were found to be significant predictors of EC utilization. In the focused group discussion, a total of 32 female students were participated and the result shows that lack of knowledge about EC and fear of being seen by others (information disclosure) were reported as main factors for not using EC.
The study shows that the level of EC use was low. Female students’ level of knowledge about EC, age at first sexual intercourse, previous use of regular contraceptives and history of pregnancy were major predictors of EC utilization. Therefore, designing strategies to enhance EC utilization by increasing female students’ level of awareness on EC is recommended.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13104-015-1812-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4691018  PMID: 26704070
Emergency contraception utilization; Associated factors; Mizan-Tepi University
10.  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.
PMCID: PMC2698446  PMID: 19444663
condoms; norms; young women; STI prevention; sexual behaviour
11.  Sexual experiences and emergency contraceptive use among female university students: a cross-sectional study at Wachamo University, Ethiopia 
BMC Research Notes  2015;8:112.
Although unintended pregnancy rate is declining in both developed and developing countries, it remains higher in developing countries. Ethiopia is one country with a high prevalence of unintended pregnancy. In spite of this fact, very little is known about utilization of emergency contraception (EC) among young women. Therefore, this study aims to assess sexual experiences and emergency contraception use among female students at Wachamo University in Ethiopia.
A cross-sectional study was conducted from March to April 2013 at Wachamo University in Ethiopia. A pretested self-administered questionnaire was used to assess sexual experiences and emergency contraception use among female students. The study participants (n = 424) were selected using a multistage sampling procedure. A simple random sampling technique was applied to select the study participants from a list obtained in registrar’s office. Data was entered into EpiInfo and exported to SPSS for analysis. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to determine factors associated with emergency contraception use.
The majority of respondents (62.0%) were 20–24 years old and 31.4% were sexually active. Among sexually active, the mean (standard deviation) age at first sex was 18.22 (SD = 1.69). About one-half participants had high levels of knowledge about EC (49.8%) and positive attitudes towards EC (47.6%). Moreover, 44.4% of sexually active participants used EC at least once after unprotected sexual intercourse. The bivariate logistic regression revealed that age, marital status, religion, previous & current residence, parent’s educational status, knowledge about and attitude towards EC has a significant (P < 0.005) association with EC use. Furthermore, the multivariate analysis indicated that female students who have good knowledge, and ever got married were more likely to use EC than their counterparts (P < 0.05).
Emergency Contraception use, knowledge about and attitude on Emergency Contraception were very low among female students. Overall, knowledge on EC and marital status were predictors for EC use. Thus, it is an indication that there is a need for health education and promotion programs in university set-up to improve EC use to prevent unintended pregnancies.
PMCID: PMC4381372  PMID: 25888876
Sexually active; Emergency contraception; Female students; Ethiopia
12.  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
13.  Are Nepali students at risk of HIV? A cross-sectional study of condom use at first sexual intercourse among college students in Kathmandu 
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.
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.
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC2847986  PMID: 20196856
14.  Risky HIV sexual behaviour and depression among University of Nairobi students 
Prevalence rates of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection among the youth are disproportionately high compared to that of other age groups in Kenya. Poor mental health has been linked to risky HIV behaviour, yet few local studies have explored these aspects. This study sought to determine associations between HIV risky sexual behaviour and depression among undergraduate students at the University of Nairobi.
A random sample of 923 (525 males and 365 females) undergraduate students was interviewed using a questionnaire to record sociodemographic variables and risky sexual behaviour including having multiple sexual partners, inconsistent condom use and engaging in sex after drinking. Depressive symptoms were measured using the Centre for Epidemiological Studies Short Depression Scale (CES-D 10).
The students’ mean age was 23 years (s.d.4.0). Overall, 41.33% of the students scored above the cut-off point of 10 on the CES-D 10 scale, with 35.71% having moderate symptoms and 5.62% having severe depressive symptoms. The percentage of those who had ever been diagnosed with sexually transmitted infections (STIs) was 9.71% (males 8.65%; females 11.01%); and for HIV 3.04% (males 2.02%; females 4.05%). Nearly 30% reported having had multiple partners in the previous 12 months, 27.4% of the students did not use condoms with sexual partners and 21% had engaged in sex after drinking within the previous 3 months. In multivariable-bivariate logistic regression, being older, having depressive symptoms, alcohol use/binge drinking, tobacco use, sex after drinking, previous diagnosis of STI, physical abuse, sexual coercion and history of sexual abuse as a child were significantly associated with having multiple partners. Further, younger age, being female, tobacco use and previous diagnosis of STI were significantly associated with inconsistent condom use.
The prevalence of HIV rate infection is low compared to the national average but risky sexual behaviour is common among the students and is positively linked to depressive symptoms among other factors. Programmes aimed at HIV prevention should be integrated with mental health interventions.
PMCID: PMC4396741  PMID: 25873984
Students; Depression; Risky sexual behaviour; HIV
15.  Contraception use and pregnancy among 15–24 year old South African women: a nationally representative cross-sectional survey 
BMC Medicine  2007;5:31.
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.
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.
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC2190760  PMID: 17963521
16.  Oral and anal sex practices among high school youth in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:5.
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.
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.
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).
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.
PMCID: PMC3265418  PMID: 22216887
Youth; Sexual and reproductive health; Oral sex; Anal sex; HIV; STIs
17.  Correlates of ever had sex among perinatally HIV-infected adolescents in Uganda 
Reproductive Health  2015;12:96.
The objective of this study was to explore the correlates of ever had sex among perinatally HIV-infected (PHIV) adolescents.
A cross-sectional survey of sexual behaviour was conducted with 624 PHIV adolescents living three regions (12 districts) of Uganda. Data was collected on socio demographic characteristics (age, sex, occupation, religion and education status), sexual practices and behaviours (Intimate relationships, sexual intercourse, age of sexual debut, condom use, multiple and concurrent sexual partners), consequences of sexual behaviours (pregnancy and STI’s) and life style factors (use of alcohol, psychoactive substances and peer influence). Multivariable logistic-regression was used to ascertain the determinants of sexual activity.
The majority of PHIV were female (59.3 %) and the mean age of the sample was 16.2 (±2.1) years. The mean age of sexual debut was 15.8 years; 16.2 % (101/624) reported symptoms for sexually transmitted infections (STI) and more than a third (213/624) reported ever had sex.Of these 76.5 % (165/213) used condoms inconsistently; and 49.3 % (105/213) had been pregnant or made someone pregnant. Of those in relationships, 56.3 % (223/396) did not disclose and were not aware of their partners’ HIV status. Adolescents aged 15–19 years were more likely to have ever been sexually active (Adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 6.28, 95 % Confidence interval (CI): 2.63-14.99) compared to those aged 10–14 years. Adolescents who were living alone were more likely to have ever been sexually active compared to those living with one or both parents (AOR 4.33, 95 % CI: 1.13-16.62). The odds of being sexually active were lower among adolescents in school compared to those out of school (AOR 0.2, 95 % CI: 0.13-0.30), who had never been treated for STI (compared to those who had never been treated for STI) (AOR 0.19, 95 % 0.11-0.32) and adolescents who never drank alcohol (AOR 0.49, 95 % CI 0.28-0.87).
PHIV adolescents have risky sexual behaviours characterized by being sexually active, inconsistent condom use, and having partners of unknown status. Risk reduction interventions are required to minimize unplanned pregnancies, STI, and HIV transmission by PHIV adolescents.
PMCID: PMC4609043  PMID: 26475268
HIV; Perinatally infected; Adolescents; Risky sexual behaviour; Adolescents; Uganda
18.  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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC3435105  PMID: 22877589
condom use; contraceptive use; gender relations; women; youth
19.  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.
PMCID: PMC4148693  PMID: 25160922
Binge drinking; contraception; college; women’s health; pregnancy prevention
20.  Risky Sexual Behaviors and Associated Factors among Jiga High School and Preparatory School Students, Amhara Region, Ethiopia 
Background. Young people constitute a large number of population worldwide, and majority of this population group lives in developing countries. They are at high risk of engaging in risky sexual behaviors. These risk sexual behaviors predispose youths to several sexual and reproductive health problems like STIs, HIV, unwanted pregnancy, and abortion. So, this study was conducted to assess the magnitude of risky sexual behaviors and associated factors among Jiga high school and preparatory school students, northwest Ethiopia. Methodology. Institutional based cross-sectional study design was conducted among Jiga town high school and preparatory school students. A total of 311 students were included in the study. Systematic random sampling method was used to select study participants. Data was entered using EpiData version 3.1 and it was exported to SPSS version 22 for further analysis. Descriptive analysis and bivariate and multivariate analysis were also calculated to determine factors associated with risky sexual behavior. Result. Forty-eight (16%) of respondents reported that they had sexual intercourse. From those who start sex, 44 (14.7%) were involved in risky sexual behavior which could predispose them to sexual and reproductive health problems. More than half, 27 (56.3%), of respondents first sexual intercourse was before their eighteenth birthday. The mean age and SD of fist sexual initiation were 17.2 years old and 1.35 years, respectively. Factors associated with risky sexual behavior include respondents between the ages of 20 and 23 (AOR: 5, 95%, CI: 1.59–15.98), drinking alcohol (AOR: 2.48, 95% CI: 1.13–5.41), and having poor knowledge towards HIV/AIDS (AOR: 4.53, 95%, CI: 2.06–9.94). Conclusion. A large number of in-school youths are involved in risky sexual behaviors like early sexual initiation, having multiple sexual partners, inconsistence use of condom, and having sex with high risk partner (CSWs). Age of respondents, alcohol drinking, and poor knowledge towards HIV/AIDS were factors associated with risky sexual behavior. School and community based programs in reducing substance abuse among youths and increasing their knowledge towards HIV/AIDS are important.
PMCID: PMC4925954  PMID: 27403456
21.  Emergency hormonal contraception usage in genitourinary medicine clinic attenders. 
Genitourinary Medicine  1996;72(3):217-219.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the indications for usage of emergency hormonal contraception amongst a population of London genitourinary medicine clinic attenders. METHODS: In a prospective study, 150 consecutive women receiving emergency hormonal contraception (EHC) were enrolled. The attending doctor completed a questionnaire of patient details and prescribed EHC with prophylactic prochlorperazine. Follow-up was arranged three weeks later, at which time outcomes and side-effects of therapy were recorded. For those women who did not reattended as planned case notes were reviewed at three months. RESULTS: Of 150 women surveyed, 100 (66%) reported contraceptive method failure, 48 (32%) had used no contraception at the time of last sexual intercourse and two requested EHC after sexual assault. Ninety three (62%) reported condom failure, 7 (5%) oral contraceptive pill failure. Seventy five (50%) had used EHC before (range 1-10 times). Seventy one (47%) women reattended within three months. Five (3.3%) of the 150 women were pregnant; none of these cases had experienced nausea or vomiting whilst taking EHC. Side-effects were reported by 22 (31%) of the 71 patients who reattended. Nine (6%) women had been followed-up in the family planning advisory clinic. Of the 71 women who reattended, 39 (55%) reported that their preferred future method of contraception would be condoms. Of the 150 women 19 (13%) underwent tests for sexually transmissible infections within one month of presentation. CONCLUSIONS: EHC usage in this population was associated with a failure rate of at least 3.3% and an overall side effect rate of 31%. Despite requests for emergency contraception because of condom failure many elected to continue using condoms as their preferred method of contraception. The majority of women (53%) did not return for follow-up or family planning advice, and so we believe that future contraceptive plans must be addressed at the time EHC is prescribed.
PMCID: PMC1195655  PMID: 8707328
22.  Self-reported sexually transmitted infections among female university students 
To investigate the occurrence of self-reported sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and associated factors among female university students requesting contraceptive counselling.
Material and methods
Cross-sectional study. Female university students (n = 353) completed a waiting-room questionnaire in connection with contraceptive counselling at a Student Health Centre in Uppsala, Sweden.
Ninety-three (26.3%) female students had experienced an STI. The three most frequently reported STIs were chlamydia trachomatis, condyloma, and genital herpes. The experience of an STI was significantly associated with the total number of sexual partners (OR 1.060, 95% CI 1.030–1.091, P < 0.001), being heterosexual (OR 4.640, 95% CI 1.321–16.290, P = 0.017), having experienced an abortion (OR 2.744, 95% CI 1.112–6.771, P = 0.028), not being HPV-vaccinated (OR 2.696, 95% CI 1.473–4.935, P = 0.001), and having had intercourse on first night without using a condom (OR 2.375, 95% CI 1.182–4.771, P = 0.015).
Contraceptive counselling should also include information about primary and secondary prevention of STI, such as the importance of correct use of a condom and STI testing, to prevent a further spread of STIs.
PMCID: PMC4812057  PMID: 26489857
Condom use; contraception; female sexuality; human papillomavirus; sexually transmitted diseases; women’s health; screening; young adult women
23.  Contraceptive usage patterns in North American medical students 
Contraception  2010;83(5):459-465.
Previous studies indicate that the sexual beliefs and mores of students in medical professions may influence their capacity to care for patients’ sexuality and contraception issues. Students also represent a large sample of reproductive-age individuals. In this study, we examined contraceptive usage patterns in North American medical students.
Study Design
Students using online medical student social and information networks enrolled in allopathic and osteopathic medical schools in North America between February and July of 2008 were invited to participate via email and published announcements in an Internet-based survey consisting of a questionnaire that assessed ethnodemographic factors, year in school and sexual history. We also collected information about current use of contraceptive and barrier methods. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression were utilized to analyze responses.
Among our 2269 complete responses, at least one form of contraception was being utilized by 71% of men and 76% of women. Condoms were the most popular form of contraceptive, utilized by 1011 respondents (50% of men and 40% of women). Oral contraceptive pills were the contraceptive of choice for 34% of men and 41% of women. Decreased rates of contraception use were associated with being black or Asian, not being in a relationship and having more sexual dysfunction in female respondents. Students who reported comfort discussing sexual issues with patients were more likely to use effective contraceptive methods themselves. Ten percent of this of sexually active medical students was not currently using contraception.
There are significant differences in contraceptive use based on demographics, even at the highest education levels. The personal contraception choices of medical students may influence their ability to accurately convey information about contraception to their patients. In addition, medical students may personally benefit from improved knowledge of effective contraceptive practices.
PMCID: PMC3607662  PMID: 21477690
Contraception; Medical students; Sexuality; Safer sex; Sexually transmitted infections
24.  Students’ Perceptions of Contraceptives in University of Ghana 
This study sought to explore University of Ghana Business School diploma student's knowledge of contraceptives, types of contraceptives, attitudes towards contraceptive users, preference for contraceptives, benefits, and side-effects of contraceptives.
Materials and methods
Data was conducted with three sets of focus group discussions. Participants were systematically sampled from accounting and public administration departments.
Findings showed that students had little knowledge of contraceptives. The male and female condoms were the main contraceptive types reported out of the many modern and traditional methods of contraceptives. The main benefits of contraceptives were; ability to protect against STIs, abortions, unwanted pregnancy and psychological trauma. Whilst most respondents preferred future use of pills, side-effects of contraceptives were mostly reported for condoms than other contraceptive methods. Results showed that participants had bad attitudes towards unmarried contraceptive users.
Generally, our findings show that detailed knowledge about contraceptives is low. There is a little gap of information on contraception knowledge, timing, and contraceptive types among university diploma students. Reproductive and maternal services should be available and accessible for tertiary students.
PMCID: PMC4064744  PMID: 24971101
Contraceptives; Knowledge; Side-effects; Reproductive; Ghana
25.  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 
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.
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.
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC2606907  PMID: 19101459
Oral contraception; Pregnancy; Adolescent

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