Factors That Influences School Adolescents Exposure To HIV/STD In Bale, Oromia Region

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Addis Abeba Universty


Adolescence is a period of transition from childhood to adulthood. World Health Organization (WHO) defines adolescent as person between 10 and 19 years of age. Adolescents’ sexual behavior threatens the physical, psychological and social health and well being of this group and takes their life. There fore, sexual behavior is an essential indicator to assess the trend of HIV/AIDS among this vulnerable group and to take an action in its prevention and control. This study had an objective of assessing sexual behavior of school adolescents and factors influencing them to practice risky sexual behavior that exposes them to HIV/AIDS in four selected high schools in Bale zone, Oromia regional state from October 2003 to May 2004. A cross sectional descriptive survey was carried out and a multi stage sampling procedure was employed to select a fair representative sample from the schools. Eight hundred thirty nine subjects were selected for the study. To collect data, a pre-tested self-administered questionnaire was used. To complement the findings of the quantitative one Focus Group Discussions were also conducted in eight groups. Of the study subjects, 488 (58.2%) were males and 351(41.8%) were females. Among them 258 (30.8%) of school adolescents 186 (72.1%) males and 72 (29.9%) females were sexually active. Female students had sexual intercourse earlier than males (15.21+ 1.4 versus 16.11+ 1.94). The main factors reported for the initiation of sexual intercourse were personal desire 102 (39.1%), and peer pressure 60 (23.3%). Of the sexually active students 150 (58.1%) had never used condom during any sexual episode. Among sexually active students 147 (57%) and 101 (39.2%) reported genital discharge and genital ulcer in the past one year respectively. As regard to their sexual partner, 123 (47.7%) had sexual encounter with multiple partners. The mean number of partners was 1.5.Sexually active Students also reported that they had sexual commencement with causal partner, a partner with multiple sexual partners and commercial sex worker (43.7%, 38.9% and 20.5% respectively).. Among sexually active students 25.6% (40.3% females and 19.9% males) received gift or money in return to sex in the past one year. Pertaining to substance use among sexually active students 13.6% had used alcohol and 12.4% of them had used “khat”. Of those students who had experienced sex 15.9% had encountered sexual violence (40.3% females and 6.5% males respectively). Eight hundred twenty two (98%) of students are aware of HIV/AIDS and 44.8% of them know more than two mode of HIV transmission and 48% are knowledgeable for more than one preventive methods. In addition to the students’ moderate knowledge to mode of HIV transmission and its preventive methods, 30.9% and 31.8% had risk behavior exposing them to HIV respectively. Among sexually active students 58.1% perceived that they have no or low chance of infection with HIV It was concluded that school adolescents have risk taking behavior like beginning sexual intercourse earlier, practicing sex with multiple partners, causal partner and commercial sex worker, and low rate of condom use during their sexual encounter and different factors influences students to practice such behavior such as their personal desire, pressure from their peers, alcohol consumption and khat chewing which exposes them to HIV/AIDS infection due to their limited knowledge about the disease. Students get information about HIV/AIDS from their school mini media and some voluntary HIV positive persons in an occasional and limited way. Based on this it was recommend that education on sexual health should be given intensively by health institutions, NGOs and other bodies in a regular way as well as should be incorporated in the school curriculum. Key Words: Sexual, Behaviour, Adolescents, School



Sexual, Behaviour, Adolescents, School