Safer sex behaviors (sexual abstinence, correct and consistent condom usage) are important for prevention of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS among college students. The purpose of this article was to review studies addressing determinants of safer sex behaviors among college students. In Ethiopia little or no data existed on the preventive behaviors of HIV/AIDS among college students. Therefore, this study aimed to assess HIV/AIDS preventive behavior and associated factors among college students in Gambella town. An institution based cross-sectional study was conducted from 2nd to 4th March, 2015 using self-administered questioners. Pretest was conducted before the actual data collection and reliability test was performed. EPI DATA version 3.1 and SPSS version 21 software were used for data entry and analysis, respectively. Descriptive statistics were computed and a multivariate logistic regression model was fitted. P-value less than 0.05 were used to declare statistical significance. 670 college students participated in this study. The study identified that, 72.1% of the students had HIV/AIDS preventive behaviors. Among sexually active students, 83(30.6%) were using condom consistently in the last 12 month and 59.7% of the college students had no sexual intercourse. Being engaged in HIV/AIDS, preventive behavior was determined by age ≤19 years (AOR=1.89, 95% CI: 1.29, 2.77), good HIV related knowledge (AOR=2.48, 95% CI: 1.46, 4.09) and drinking alcohol (AOR=0.51, 95% CI: 0.35, 0.73). High perceived severity toward HIV/AIDS and high perceived benefit of engaging in HIV/AIDS preventive behavior (using of condom) also predicted HIV/AIDS preventive behavior (AOR=1.65, 95% CI: 1.12, 2.59) and (AOR=2.35, 95% CI: 1.36, 2.93), respectively. HIV/AIDS preventive behavior of college students in Gambella was high. However, inconsistent condom use among sexually active students was highly practiced. Age, knowledge of HIV/AIDS preventive behavior, alcohol use, perceived severity and benefit had a significant effect on HIV/AIDS preventive behavior of the college students.
Key words: HIV/AIDS, college students, health belief model.