• Hailay Gebremichael Gebrekidan Mekelle University, College of Health Sciences
  • Wondwossen Tebeje worku Intra Health, BahirdDar, Ethiopia
  • Mussie Alemayehu Gebreselassie Mekelle University
  • Henok Gebremedhn Yebyo Mekelle University
  • Daniel Nigussie Nigussi Mekelle University


Background: Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are major health problems often affecting young people, particularly adolescents. Information about the magnitude of STIs among school students in Ethiopia is scarce. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence and predictors of self-reported STIs among students attending school in Bahir-Dar town.

Methods: Cross-sectional data was collected from 520 high school students in Bahir-Dar, northwest Ethiopia. Stratified two-stage cluster sampling was used to select the study participants. The effect of risk factors on the presence of STIs was analyzed using multiple logistic regressions.

Result: The prevalence of self-reported STIs was 13.1% (95% CI: 11.4-14.8). The statistically significant predictors for acquiring STIs were: being students of higher grades (AOR=5.0, 95% CI:3.2-8.9), having multiple sexual partners (AOR=2.5, 95% CI:1.4-4.1), having practiced substance abuse (AOR=4.6, 95% CI:2.8-6.4), and non-participation in school sexual and reproductive health clubs/activities (AOR=10.6, 95% CI:6.8-14.7). Predictors which had a significant protective effect from acquiring STIs included not having experienced sexual violence (AOR=0.12, 95% CI: 0.03-0.58) and having good knowledge on the transmission mode as well as consequences of STIs (AOR=0.18, 95% CI: 0.05- 0.7).

Conclusions: The prevalence of self-reported STIs among the high school youth was high. Having multiple sexual partners, indulging in substance abuse, having poor knowledge of STIs and their transmission mode and exposure to sexual violence were among the significant predictors for acquiring STIs.  In view of this, promotion of peer and school sexual education and encouraging parental guidance were some of the suggested recommendations.


Keywords: STIs, Northwest Ethiopia, Prevalence, Self-reported, Predictors, School youth


Author Biographies

Hailay Gebremichael Gebrekidan, Mekelle University, College of Health Sciences

School of Medicine, Department of Physiotherapy, Lecturer

Mussie Alemayehu Gebreselassie, Mekelle University

School of Public health, Assistant professor

Henok Gebremedhn Yebyo, Mekelle University

School o0f Public health, Assistant Professor

Daniel Nigussie Nigussi, Mekelle University

School of Public health, Lecturer


Moodley P, Sturm AW. Management of vaginal discharge syndrome: how effective is our strategy. Int J Antimicrob Agents 2004; 24(S1): 4–7.

World Health Organization. Global strategy for the prevention and control of sexually transmitted infections: 2006–2015 Key messages. Available at: URL:

Menéndez C, Castellsague X. Renom M et al. Prevalence and risk factors of sexually transmitted infections and cervical neoplasia in women from a rural area of southern Mozambique. Infect Dis Obstet Gynecol. 2010; Article ID 609315: 1-9.

Dereje H. Assessment of the Distribution of At-risk Populations and HIV/AIDS Referral Services in Ethiopia: Baseline Assessment for Mobile HIV Counseling and Testing Program in Amhara Region. USAID. 2008;15- 49.

World Health Organization. Training in Research in Reproductive Health/Sexual Health, Fonds Universitaire Maurice Chalumeau/GFMER/WHO, Geneva, Switzerland, 2005. [cited 2009 Jun 9]; Available from: URL:

Ros C, Schmitt C. Global epidemiology of sexually transmitted diseases. Asian J Androl.

Butler PA. Progress in Reproductive Health Research. UNDP/UNFPA/WHO/World Bank Special Program of Research Training in Human Reproduction (HRP). 2008; No.64. Department of Reproductive Health, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland. No.64, 2008.

UN. Bernstein S, Hansen CJ. Public Choices, Private Decisions: Sexual and Reproductive Health and the Millennium Development Goals. [Online]. 2006 [cited 2009 Jun 19]; Available from: URL:

Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health. National Adolescent and Youth Reproductive Health Strategy 2007-2015.Available at:

World Health Organization. Implementing the global reproductive health strategy. [Online]. 2006 [cited 2009 Jun 9]; Available from: URL:

FDRE Population Census Commission. Summary and Statistical Report of the 2007 Population and Housing Census. Ethiopia Census Commission, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, December, 2008.

Ethiopian Ministry of Health. National Reproductive Health Strategy 2006-2015. March 2006.

Gashaw A, Afework K, Feleke M, et al. Low prevalence of HIV infection, and knowledge, attitude and practice on HIV/AIDS among high school students in Gondar, Northwest Ethiopia. Ethiop J Health Dev. 2007;21(2):179–82.

Wasie B, Belyhun Y, Moges B, Amare B. Effect of emergency oral contraceptive use on condom utilization and sexual risk taking behaviors among university students, Northwest Ethiopia: a cross-sectional study. BMC Research Notes 2012; 5:501

Ethiopian Public Health Association (EPHA), Young people’s HIV/AIDS & reproductive health needs and utilization of services in selected regions of Ethiopia, EPHA, December 2005.

Belayneh Y. Reproductive health needs and service utilization of Addis Ababa University students. MPH Thesis, Addis Ababa University Institutional Repository 2008.

Adeokun LA, Ricketts OL, Ajuwon AJ and Ladipo OA. Sexual and Reproductive Health Knowledge, Behavior and Education Needs of In-School Adolescents in Northern Nigeria, Afr J Reprod Health 2009; 13(4):37-49.

Zewdie Z. Assessment of HIV risk perception and condom use among youth in Debre Birhan town, Amhara region, Ethiopia. Addis Ababa University.2005. Available at: ZEWDIE.pdf

WHO/UNAIDS. Sexually transmitted diseases: policies and principles for prevention and care. [Online]. [cited 2009 Jun 6];Available from: URL:

Daba B. Assessment of premarital sexual practices and factors related to it among Ambo high school students. MPH thesis, Addis Ababa University Institutional Repository, 2016.

Andualem D. Assessment of substance use and risky sexual behavior among Haramaya University students. MPH Thesis, Addis Ababa University Institutional Repository, 2012.






Original Article