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Title: Early Coital Debut and Associated HIV Risk Factors Among Young Women and Men in South Africa
Contributor(s): Pettifor, Audrey (author); O'Brien, Katie (author); MacPhail, Catherine  (author)orcid ; Miller, William C (author); Rees, Helen (author)
Publication Date: 2009
DOI: 10.1363/3508209
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Abstract: Context: Young people in South Africa are at high risk of HIV infection. Because first sexual experiences may influence a young person's HIV risk, a better understanding of coital debut is needed. Methods: Data from a nationally representative survey that included 7,692 sexually active South African youth aged 15-24 were used to assess characteristics related to sexual debut and to respondents first sexual partner. Poisson regression analyses were conducted to identify relationships among these characteristics and partner age differences, early coital debut (i.e., before age 15), forced sex with one's first partner and non-use of condoms at first sex. Results: Eighteen percent of young men and 8% of young women reported early coital debut. The likelihood of early debut was elevated among females and males who had had an older first partner (adjusted prevalence ratio, 1.1 per year) and among females who had had forced sex (2.5). Lack of condom use at first sex was associated with early coital debut (1.5) and forced sex (1.6) for males. Among females, the likelihood of non-use was elevated for respondents who had had an early debut but had not had forced sex (1.3), and among those who had had both a later debut and forced sex (1.4). Conclusions: Early coital debut is associated with factors that may increase a young person's risk for HIV infection, such as forced sex and having older partners. Intervention efforts should encourage youth to delay coital debut and promote strategies to make young people's first sexual experience safer.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 35(2), p. 82-90
Publisher: Alan Guttmacher Institute
Place of Publication: United States of America
ISSN: 1944-0405
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 111706 Epidemiology
111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified
920401 Behaviour and Health
920412 Preventive Medicine
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Rural Medicine

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