Factors associated with sexual behaviour among adolescents in Chipata district eastern province of Zambia.

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Zimba, Christopher
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The University of Zambia
Sub-Saharan Africa accounted for over 80% of adolescents living with HIV worldwide, while teenage pregnancy was 78% among adolescents. In Zambia, the situation is not very different, with 12.8% for HIV prevalence and 29% for teenage pregnancy demonstrating increased exposure to sexual behaviour. The purpose of the study was to determine factors associated with sexual behaviour among adolescents. A cross-sectional study design employing use of quantitative approach was applied. A sample size of 225 adolescents comprising 113 females and 112 males aged 15 -19 years was determined. The study was conducted in Chipata Rural District of Eastern Zambia. Data was collected using a structured interview questionnaire for quantitative data and a follow-up focus group discussion for validation of data. Participants were selected by using Simple random sampling in the purposively selected schools. Quantitative data was analyzed using STATA 11. The findings show a varied difference in the sexual behavioural practices among the adolescents. Female adolescents were highly sexually active with 52.4% compared with the male adolescents indicating 47.6% (P<0.026). This was attributed to factors such as; religion attendance of adolescents at, 94% (P<0.030).Peer pressure would have influenced 59.6 % of the respondents compared to 41% (P<0.005). Alcohol abuse also influenced sexuality among adolescents at 75.5 % compared to 24.5% (P<0.039). On the other hand, the study established that, 65.8 % of respondents wouldn’t deny having sex with familiar persons compared to 34.2% (P<0.017). Additionally, 85.7% of adolescents wouldn’t refuse to have sex with persons who have influence over them such as their teachers and employers compared to 14.7% (P<0.032). Furthermore, 2.5 % females contracted STIs in the last three months, indicating that females are at high risk of contracting HIV/AIDs compared to male adolescents to 0.4 %(P<0.002).It was found during the study that majority of adolescents 59.6% preferred withdrawal method rather than use of condoms as contraceptives during sex, making them more vulnerable to infections, compared to 41%(P<0.034). However, findings show no correlation on the adolescent level of education and sexuality, as well receiving of gifts among adolescents would lead to sexuality. Therefore, a specific focus on further sensitization will be required. Ministry of General education should encourage schools to educate female adolescents about their sexuality and developmental processes since they lack understanding of their sexuality compared to their male counterparts. Furthermore, Ministry of Health should scale up adolescent-friendly services to meet the needs of both boys and girls. Additionally, religious leaders should also play an active role in educating the young people on sexuality.
Teenagers--Sexual behavior--Zambia. , AIDS (Disease) in adolescence--Zambia--Prevention. , Sexual Behaviour -- Adolescents -- Zambia.