2012. 9 p.
Sexual Health, Volume 9 (2), 2012
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In preparation for a school-based intervention in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, the authors conducted a cross-sectional survey of potential HIV risk factors in youth ages 14–17 (n=983). Boys were significantly more likely than girls to report lifetime sexual activity (37.7% v. 13.8%, P<0.01). Among boys and girls, 46.1% reported condom use at last sex. Discussion of condom use with a partner was the strongest predictor of condom use (boys, odds ratio (OR)=7.39; girls, OR=5.58, P<0.0001). Age was independently associated with sexual activity for boys (OR=1.49, P<0.0001) and girls (OR=1.74, P=0.02). For boys, perceptions of male peer behavior were associated with both ever having participated in sexual activity (OR=1.48, P<0.01) and condom use at last sex (OR=1.79, P<0.01). Girls who equated condom use with having numerous partners were more likely to use them. Among boys, results challenged some expected gender beliefs: support for girls' initiative in relationship formation and refusal of sex were significant predictors of sexual activity. Among girls, higher pregnancy risk perception (OR=1.32, P=0.02) and knowledge (OR=4.85, P=0.055) were associated with sexual activity.
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