Highly prevalent at-risk sexual behaviours among out-of-school youths in urban Cameroon
AbstractIntroduction: Cameroon has a high prevalence of out-of-school youths. Therefore, research relating to out-of-school youths and HIV/AIDS is imperative, since they might engage in high risk sexual behaviours. The current study investigated the highly prevalent at-risk sexual behaviours among out-of-school youths in urban Cameroon.
Methods: A cross-sectional design was adopted using a self-administered questionnaire to collect data from a cluster sample of 405 out-of-school youths, aged 15-24 years. Statistics was calculated using SPSS version 20 at the level 0.05.
Results: By age less than 16 years, more females, 90.2% than males, 71.8% had experienced sex (p < 0.001); more females, 40.4% than males, 23.2% used condoms during first sex (p < 0.01); more males, 70.8% than females, 46.0% had multiple sequential sexual partners during the last one year prior to this study (p < 0.001); more males, 42.6% than females, 18.0% had multiple concurrent sexual partners during the study period (p < 0.01); more youths who did not belong to a well-defined social network, 80.8% had experienced sex than those who belonged, 55.8% (p < 0.001); more youths who did not belong to a well-defined social network had multiple sequential sexual partners, 46.7% than those who belonged, 32.3% (p < 0.01); more youths who belonged to a well-defined social network, 24.3% used condoms consistently than those who did not belong,15.4% (p < 0.01).
Conclusion: Sexual risk behaviours exist among out-of-school youths in urban Cameroon. There is need for campaigns and interventions to bring about sexual behaviour change especially among those with low socioeconomic status. Youths should be encouraged to join well-defined social networks.
Keywords: HIV/AIDS, out-of-school youths, socio-demographic characteristics, sexual risk behavior, urban Cameroon