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Risk Factors for Transactional Sex among Young Females in Post-Conflict Liberia

CC Okigbo
DR McCarraher
M Chen
A Pack


This study aimed to examine the risk factors for engaging in transactional sex among young females in Montserrado County, Liberia. Data from an HIV behavioral survey conducted among young people aged 14 – 25 years were used. The analytical sample included 493 sexually-experienced females. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were conducted. We found that 72% of our sample had ever engaged in transactional sex. Engagement in transactional sex was associated with education (OR: 0.5); reporting no earned income (OR: 1.9); longer duration of sexual activity (OR: 3.5); early sexual debut (OR: 2.5); history of sexual violence (OR: 2.1) and multiple sexual partnerships (OR: 4.0). Respondents' age, residence, and drug/alcohol use were not associated with engagement in transactional sex. HIV interventions should incorporate educational strategies to reduce the prevalence of transactional sex among young people. These strategies should include economic opportunities to offset financial need as well as efforts to eradicate sexual violence. (Afr J Reprod Health 2014; 18[3]: 133-141)

Keywords: Transactional sex, Young women, HIV risk behaviors, Post-conflict, Liberia.

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eISSN: 1118-4841