Youth age is the period when majority of youths become sexually active. However, majority of the youths lack sufficient knowledge about (HIV/AIDS) and other reproductive health issues. As a result, youths have multitude of reproductive problems, including HIV, other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), unwanted pregnancy, induced abortion and dropping out of school due to unwanted pregnancy. The objective of this study was to assess the prevalence, associated risk factors and consequences of premarital sex among high school female students in Aletawondo town, Southern Ethiopia 2013. A cross-sectional school-based study was conducted using a facilitator guided self administered questionnaire. Study participants were female students attending regular school classes in high schools. The percentage of youths involved in pre-marital sex and those affected by its consequence were computed. Factors associated with pre-marital sex were assessed using bivariate and multivariable logistic regression. Among the total participants (n = 413), 394 were never married. Of the 394 never married study participants, 72 (18.3%) have in premarital sex. Of these, 11 (15.3%) had unwanted pregnancy and 82% had terminated their pregnancy (induced abortion). Predictors of premarital sex were: age [AOR (95% CI) = 1.43 (1.15, 1.77)], rural family residence [AOR (95% CI) = 2.12 (1.09, 4.12)], having a boy friend [AOR (95% CI) = 4.15 (2.34, 7.36)], going to night club [AOR (95% CI) = 2.92 (1.12, 7.65)]. Significant number of girls started having premarital sex due to various factors at different levels. Therefore, comprehensive sexual education at their earlier age could help reduce the consequences of pre-marital sexual intercourse.
Key words: Premarital sex, consequences, high school, female students
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