Risky Sexual Behaviors and Associated Factors Among College Students in Lusaka, Zambia
Risky sexual behaviors are important factors driving the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Although Zambia experiences a high HIV prevalence, especially among youth, there is a dearth of information regarding risky sexual behaviors among young adults. Therefore, we investigated the prevalence and associated factors of risky sexual behaviors among college students in Lusaka, Zambia. A cross-sectional study was conducted in February 2017 among 427 college students at the University of Zambia. Participants reported their sexual behaviors, sexual attitudes, and lifestyle using self-administered questionnaires. Multinomial logistic regression models were employed to assess potential determinants of risky sexual behaviors. Among the 205 students who reported ever having sex, 148 (72.2%) engaged in risky sexual behaviors in the last 12 months. Participants who were older (OR 1.30, 95% CI 1.12–1.51), engaged in low physical activity (OR 2.25, 95% CI 1.05–4.84), and reported liberal sexual attitudes (OR 1.88, 95% CI 1.02–3.47) were more likely to engage in any risky sexual behavior, while frequent alcohol use (OR 8.38, 95% CI 4.60–15.27) and suicide attempts (OR 6.42, 95% CI 2.03–20.29) predicted multiple risky sexual behaviors. In conclusion, this study indicates that Zambian college students’ risky sexual behaviors are associated with multiple behavioral health risks. Future research should consider using a multiple-behavior change intervention.
KeywordsCollege students Sexual behaviors Sexual attitudes Lifestyle Sexual risk
We very gratefully acknowledge the participation of the study children and their parents.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.
All procedures involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of Wuhan University and UNZA Medical Research Committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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