Multiple sexual partners and condom use among 10-19 year-olds in four districts in Tanzania: What do we learn?

Case Studies & Research
9 p.
Periodical title
BMC Public Health 11 2011

This study tested a hypothesis that sexual relationships with multiple partners in the 10- to 19-year age group spurs condom use during sex. The authors performed secondary analysis using data from the adolescent module of the cross-sectional household survey on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) that was done in Kigoma, Kilombero, Rufiji and Ulanga districts, Tanzania in 2008. A total of 612 adolescents from a random sample of 1,200 households participated in this study. Pearson Chi-Square was used as a test of association between multiple sexual partners and condom use. Multivariate logistic regression model was fitted to the data to assess the effect of multiple sexual partners on condom use, having adjusted for potential confounding variables. Of the 612 adolescents interviewed, 23.4% reported being sexually active and 42.0% of these reported having had multiple (1) sexual partners in the last 12 months. The overall prevalence of condom use among them was 39.2%. The proportion using a condom at the last sexual intercourse was higher among those who knew that they can get a condom if they want than those who did not. No evidence of association was found between multiple sexual partners and condom use. With younger adolescents (10-14 years) being a reference, condom use was associated with age group (15-19: OR = 3.69, 95% CI = 1.21-11.25, P = 0.022) and district of residence (Kigoma: OR = 7.45, 95% CI = 1.79-31.06, P = 0.006; Kilombero: OR = 8.89, 95% CI = 2.91-27.21, P 0.001; Ulanga: OR = 5.88, 95% CI = 2.00-17.31, P = 0.001), Rufiji being a reference category. No evidence of association was found between multiple sexual partners and condom use among adolescents in the study area. The large proportion of adolescents who engage in sexual activity without using condoms, even those with multiple partners, perpetuates the risk of transmission of HIV infections in the community. Strategies such as sex education and easing access to and making a friendly environment for condom availability are important to address the risky sexual behavior among adolescents.

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