Risky sexual behavior increases the likelihood of adverse sexual and reproductive health consequences such as unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortion, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including (HIV/AIDS). Adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa including Ethiopia are highly exposed to various risky sexual behaviors. The aim of this study was to determine the magnitude of risky sexual behaviors among Boditti Secondary and Preparatory School adolescents. A school based cross-sectional study was conducted from March 9 to April 27, 2013 among a random sample of 508 students in Boditti Secondary and Preparatory School, Boditti town, Wolayta zone, South Ethiopia. Of 508 students surveyed, 29.1% (148); 95% confidence interval (CI) [25.2, 33.3] were sexually active. About 20.5% (104); 95%CI [17.9, 24.2] and 8.7% (44), 95%CI [6.4, 11.5] of the students had committed sex with more than one sexual partner in their life time and in six months prior to the survey, respectively. Concerning the frequency of condom use, 69%; 95%CI [59.0, 77.9] used condom with casual friends inconsistently or never. Overall, 17.9% (91); 95%CI [14.7, 21.5] were engaged in risky sexual practice for HIV. Peer pressure and need of money were the major reasons cited to have influenced adolescents’ sexual activities. Student’s age, living arrangement, previous HIV test experience and grade level were independent predictors of risky sexual behavior. Significant numbers of students were engaged in risky sexual behavior. Strengthening sexual education to the target groups could help reduce the consequences of risky sexual behaviors.
Key words: Magnitude, risky sexual behavior, high school, students.
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