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Risky Sexual Practices Among Youth Attending a Sexually Transmitted Infection Clinic in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Urassa, W., Moshiro, C., Chalamilla, G., Mhalu, F. and Sandstrom, E. (2008) Risky Sexual Practices Among Youth Attending a Sexually Transmitted Infection Clinic in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. BMC infectious diseases, 8 (159). ISSN 1471-2334 (In Press)

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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. 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. 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. 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.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: sexually transmitted infection;Knowledge;HIV;Condom;Tanzania
Subjects: Sexual & Reproductive Health > Sexually transmitted infections
Divisions: Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS)
Depositing User: Mr Joseph Madata
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2012 07:27
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2012 07:27

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