Premarital sex in the last twelve months and its predictors among students of Wollega University, Ethiopia
Background: Premarital sex increases the risk of unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections including HIV if unprotected and contraception is not used. Thus, the objective of this study was to assess premarital sex in the last twelve months and its predictors among regular undergraduate students of Wollega University.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey using pretested, structured questionnaire was conducted on a total of 704 regular undergraduate students of Wollega University from February to March, 2014. We used multistage sampling technique to recruit study participants. Binary and multivariable logistic regressions were performed using SPSS version 20 to assess predictors of premarital sex. Statistical significance was determined through a 95% confidence level.
Results: Wollega University youths who had premarital sex in the last twelve months were 28.4%; 55.5% of them did not use condom during last sex while 31.3% engaged in multiple sex. Being male [Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR)(95% Confidence Interval(CI))=2.7(1.58-4.75)], age 20-24 years [AOR(95%CI)=2.8(1.13-7.20)], training on how to use condom [AOR(95%CI)=1.7(1.17-2.46)], being tested for HIV [AOR(95%CI)=2.3(1.48-3.53)], using social media frequently [AOR(95%CI)=1.8(1.14-2.88)], having comprehensive knowledge of HIV [AOR(95% CI)=1.5(1.01-2.10)], alcohol use [AOR (95%CI)=2.2(1.31-3.56)] were associated with increased odds of premarital sex in the last twelve months.
Conclusion: Nearly one-third of regular undergraduate students of the university were engaged in premarital sex in the last twelve months. Being male, using social media frequently and alcohol use were associated with increased odds of premarital sex in the stated period. Thus, higher institutions have to deliver abstinence messages alongside information about self-protection.
Keywords: Premarital sex, students, Wollega University