MAGNITUDE AND PREDICTORS OF SELF-REPORTED SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS AMONG SCHOOL YOUTH IN BAHIR-DAR, NORTHWEST ETHIOPIA
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
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