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African Journal of AIDS Research

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Correlates of sexual activity versus non-activity of incoming first-year students at a South African university

Renette J Blignaut, Tania Vergnani, Joachim J Jacobs

Abstract


In order to contribute to the design of more effective programmes to curb the spread of HIV at tertiary institutions, this study compares the profile of students who are sexually active versus those who are not yet sexually active when entering university. The study was conducted among three cohorts of first-year university students at the University of the Western Cape from 2007 to 2009. A range of correlates of sexual activity versus non-activity were explored using logistic regression analysis. The predicted probabilities of the logit link function depict marked differences between genders and racial groups. Males were more likely than females to be sexually active when entering university and the Black racial group was more likely than other racial groups to be sexually active. Risk-taking behaviours such as smoking, alcohol and drug use were shown to increase the likelihood of being sexually active when entering university, as did indicators of depression and suicidal ideation. The results indicate that religion plays an important role in influencing sexual behaviour, highlighting the important potential role that religious organisations can play in addressing HIV risk at tertiary institutions.

Keywords: alcohol, drug use, HIV/AIDS, prevention, risk behaviour, smoking, depression, importance of religion

African Journal of AIDS Research 2014, 13(1): 81–91



http://dx.doi.org/10.2989/16085906.2014.901977
AJOL African Journals Online