Sexual behaviour among adolescents living with the human immunodeficiency virus in Zimbabwe: educational implications
The incidence of HIV infection is increasing among adolescents in Zimbabwe. This rise in incidence is partly due to risky sexual behaviours yet there are no published research studies on sexual behaviours of HIV-positive adolescents in Zimbabwe. Hence, this study, which examined the sexual behaviours of HIV-positive adolescents. This study utilised a cross-sectional design with a conveniently selected sample of 341 HIV-positive adolescents. Data were collected through a questionnaire. Data were analysed using descriptive and analytical statistics. The study revealed that approximately 37 (11%) of the adolescents had engaged in sexual intercourse, and approximately 14 (60%) of these did not use condoms. Approximately 11 (30%) of the sexually active adolescents had multiple sexual partners, and only 9 (24.3%) of them had disclosed their HIV serostatus to their partners before sexual intercourse. A bivariate analysis revealed factors that were associated with being sexually activity. Examples of these include age (OR = 1.56, p < 0.001) and being treated by a psychiatrist (OR = 47.9, p < 0.001). A multivariate logistic regression analysis was carried out, revealing factors that were independently associated with being sexually active. Examples of these include age (AOR = 1.91, p < 0.01) and exposure to erotic television programmes (AOR = 3.9, p < 0.04). The results of the study indicate that the sexual risk behaviours of HIV-positive adolescents contributes to the increase in incidence and prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe. The development and rolling out of a health education programme will help health care workers to address this concern.
Keywords: adolescents, health education, human immunodeficiency virus, sexual behaviour, Zimbabwe