Date of Award

January 2013

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

School of Public Health

First Advisor

Linda M. Niccolai

Second Advisor

Frederick L. Altice

Abstract

Introduction: In the past decade, young people in Haiti have been engaging in riskier sexual behavior. The present study investigates correlates of sexual risk behaviors among adolescents in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Methods: The cross-sectional study included anonymous face-to-face interviews with 200 (108 male and 92 female) 13 to 18 year old participants. Data were collected on demographic, family and psychosocial characteristics and four sexual risk outcomes: having a history of sexual intercourse, early sexual debut, multiple sexual partners and condom use at last sexual intercourse. Unadjusted and adjusted logistic regression models were generated for each outcome and a composite sexual risk outcome.

Results: The majority of the sample (60.0%) had engaged in sexual intercourse. While controlling for potentially confounding variables, males were 3.52 times as likely to have had sexual intercourse (CI 1.68, 7.37), 5.42 times as likely to report sexual debut before 14 years of age (CI 2.26, 13.00), 9.75 times as likely to have more than one partner (CI 3.87, 24.60), and 3.37 times as likely to not have used a condom at last sex than females (1.56, 7.31). Additionally, adolescents who lived with only their mother were more likely to have used a condom at last sexual intercourse (OR for not using a condom=0.26, CI 0.09, 0.78).

Discussion: The present research reveals that adolescents in Port-au-Prince, Haiti are engaging in sexually risky behaviors. These findings emphasize a need for further research attention to the vulnerable demographic. Effective risk reduction interventions may be directed toward certain groups such as younger males and children not living with mothers or other adult relatives.

Comments

This is an Open Access Thesis.

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