There is growing evidence suggesting that young people in school are practicing risky sexual behaviors. Ethiopian people aged 10 to 24 years have emerged as the segments of the population most vulnerable to a broad spectrum of serious sexual health problems. Therefore, the main aim of this study was to assess risky sexual behaviors and associated factors among preparatory school students in Arba Minch, Southern Ethiopia. An institution based cross sectional study was conducted among 465 study participants from April 20 to June 2, 2018. A self-administered pre-tested questionnaire was used to collect the data. Bivariate and multivariate analysis was done using binary logistic regression. In this study, 22.4% (95%CI: 18.6%, 26.2%) of study participants had risky sexual behaviors. Marital status, education and occupational status of the father, occupation of the mother, watching pornographic movies, drinking alcohol, using hashish/shisha and knowledge about HIV/AIDS were significantly associated with odds (AOR=3.28, 95%CI: 1.24, 8.70), (AOR=5.96, 95%CI: 1.35, 26.25), (AOR=0.33, 95%CI: 0.12, 0.93), (AOR=0.22, 95%CI: 0.09, 0.51), (AOR=8.80, 95%CI: 4.04, 19.17), (AOR=2.71, 95%CI: 1.35, 5.46), (AOR=14.88, 95%CI: 4.52, 48.96) and (AOR=2.89, 95%CI: 1.42, 5.88), respectively. This finding noted that significant numbers of students were engaged in risky sexual behaviours. Those students had multiple sexual partners, used condoms inconsistently, had sex with risky individuals, and an early sexual start. Watching pornographic movies, substance abuse and a knowledge gap on HIV/AIDS were some of the significant factors. Awareness creation for youths to reduce substance abuses, HIV/AIDS and sexual and reproductive health in the school community is recommended.
Key words: Risky sexual behaviors, sexual and reproductive health problems, youths
AIDS, Acquired immune deficiency syndrome; AOR, adjusted odds ratio; CI, confidence interval; CSWs, commercial sex workers; HIV, human immune deficiency virus; STIs, sexual transmitted infections
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