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Individual- and Family-Level Psychosocial Correlates of HIV Risk Behavior Among Youth in Rural Kenya

Abstract

Associations between individual- and family-level psychosocial factors and sexual behavior were examined among 325 adolescents ages 10–18 in rural Kenya. History of sexual activity was reported by 51% of males and 30% of females. Among those reporting sex within the past year, 64% of males and 32% of females had multiple partners; 85% of males and 54% of females reported not using a condom at last sex. Multivariate logistic regression modeling demonstrated sexually active adolescents were significantly more likely to be older, male, more accepting of risky behavior, and have greater perceived HIV risk, caregiver social support, social support related to HIV, and emotional problems. Youths reporting high-risk behavior (unprotected sex or multiple partners) were significantly more likely to be younger, male, and have lower sex-related self-efficacy, lower caregiver monitoring, and more externalizing problems. Future studies should evaluate HIV prevention interventions targeting improvements in mental health and family relationships.

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Acknowledgments

This project was funded in part by the Duke Global Health Institute, Johnson & Johnson Corporation, and the Duke University Center for AIDS Research (CFAR), an NIH funded program (P30 AI 64518). The authors would like to thank the team of research assistants who translated and administered the survey in this study, the adolescents who participated in this study, and the teachers, caregivers and community members who assisted in coordinating their participation. We also acknowledge the Women’s Institute for Secondary Education and Research (WISER) for serving as the host non-governmental organization for this study, the Egerton University Institute of Women, Gender and Development Studies for providing the venue for training of research assistants, the Africa Mental Health Foundation (AMHF) for providing consultation on study design and ethical considerations, and Dr. Eric Green who programmed the electronic devices for data collection.

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Puffer, E.S., Meade, C.S., Drabkin, A.S. et al. Individual- and Family-Level Psychosocial Correlates of HIV Risk Behavior Among Youth in Rural Kenya. AIDS Behav 15, 1264–1274 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-010-9823-8

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Keywords

  • HIV
  • Sexual risk behavior
  • Psychosocial
  • Adolescents
  • Kenya