Ankunda, R., Atuyambe, L.M., Kiwanuka, N., Pan African Medical Journal (November 2016), 24:49, doi:10.11604/pamj.2016.24.49.6633.
The authors used structured questionnaires to explore factors associated with sexual risk-taking and abstinence among 338 15- to 24-year-old unmarried HIV-positive youth. They found that 83 percent of youth reported a future desire to marry, and 50 percent would prefer to have an HIV-negative partner. Fewer than half (45%) reported ever having had sex; average age of sexual debut was 16.9, and girls were significantly more likely to have had sex than boys. In bothboys and girls, 37 percent were currently in a heterosexual relationship. Sixty-nine percent had not shared their HIV-positive status with their partner and 37 percent were unaware if their partner was HIV-positive. Among sexually active youth, 30 percent had more than one sexual partner, and 46 percent reported using a condom during each sexual act during the last six months. About one-fourth (24%) had not had sex within the past six months. Factors associated with abstinence included being younger, not having a biological child, and not consuming alcohol in the month before the study. The authors emphasized that developing interventions that specifically address adolescent HIV transmission risk, including disclosure, condom use, and reducing alcohol use among HIV-positive youth, may help to reduce HIV transmission.