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Sexual risk behavior and HIV infection among adolescents in secondary schools in Jos, Nigeria

C John
SN Okolo
C Isichei


Background: In adolescents sexual risk behaviours are believed to enhance the transmission of HIV infection. This study, therefore aims to examine prevalent sexual risk behaviours of adolescents in secondary schools in a town in northern Nigeria and its relation to HIV infection.
Method: A total of 883 subjects drawn from 10 schools out of 37, were recruited for the study. Structured self administered questionnaire was given to each subject. Consenting subjects received group pretest counseling and had HIV screening using Determine HIV test kits. HIV positive subjects had confirmatory test using Unigold test kit.
Result: Males accounted for 42.5% (374) out of the 883 students studied. Of this, 169 (19.2%) were sexually active. Mean age at sexual debut was 13.8±2.9 years; 13.3±2.7 years for males and 14.6±3.2 years for females, p=0.006. Males 101 (27%) were more sexually experienced as against 13.4% of the females, p<0.0001. Among the sexually active37.6% had two or more sex partners, and 63.9% of them never used condoms. In the sexually active, 54 (42.5%) had nonconsensual sex (NCS), with more of NCS occurring in younger subjects p<0.0001, more females p<0.0001, associated with less condom use (p=0.02). Nine (eight females and one male) of the 883 subjects tested HIV positive. among the sexually active subjects, only four tested HIV positive. Condom use among the sexually active, HIV positive subjects was 25%.
Conclusion: Prevalent sexual risk behaviors noted were early sexual debut, nonconsensual sex, unprotected sex and multiple sex partners.

Key words: Adolescents, Sexual risk behavior, HIV infection, Jos