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Delaying sexual debut as a strategy for reducing HIV epidemic in Kenya

EO Onsomu
JK Kimani
BA Abuya
AA Arif
D Moore
V Duren-Winfield
G Harwell


The study purpose was to determine the association between sexual debut and HIV sero-status, and factors contributing to a positive HIV sero-status. Retrospective cross-sectional data from the Kenya Demographic and  Health Survey-2003 were used. Data on women aged 15-49 (n=3,273) and men aged 15-54 (n=2,917) accepting HIV testing were retained from three datasets. Stata version 10.1 was used for analyses, p<0.05. Nine percent of women and 5% of men tested positive for HIV, of whom 46% and 49%, p<0.001 were aged 16-21 respectively. After adjusting for confounding,  women and men who had sexual debut aged 16-21 were 2.31 (95% CI: 1.52-3.51), p<0.001 and 1.83 (95% CI: 1.07-3.13), p<0.05 times more  likely to test positive for HIV compared to those who never had sex respectively. Early sexual debut continues to be a major risk factor for  acquiring HIV infection later in life, suggesting earlier interventions could have a major impact towards fighting the disease. (Afr J Reprod Health 2013; 17[2]: 46-57).

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, HIV sero-status, Risk factors, Education, Kenya

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eISSN: 1118-4841