Decline in Sexual Risk Behaviours among Young People in Zambia (2000–2009): Do Neighbourhood Contextual Effects Play a Role?

Kayeyi, Nkomba; Fylkesnes, Knut; Wiium, Nora; Sandøy, Ingvild F.
May 2013
PLoS ONE;May2013, Vol. 8 Issue 5, p1
Academic Journal
Objective: This study examined trends in premarital sex, multiple partnership and condom use among young people (15–24 years) in Zambia from 2000 to 2009, and assessed the effects of individual and neighbourhood variables on these sexual behaviour indicators in 2000 and 2009. Methodology: We analysed data from the Zambia Sexual Behaviour Survey, conducted in 2000, 2003, 2005 and 2009. Multi-stage cluster sampling was used to select 385 neighbourhoods, giving a population sample of 6,500 young people. Using linear-by-linear trend test, trends in the three indicators were examined. Multilevel logistic regression was used to assess the effects of individual and neighbourhood variables on the indicators. Results: Premarital sex among young people decreased significantly from 51 to 42% between 2000 and 2009. Multiple partnerships of men also decreased from 26 to 14% during the same period. The use of condoms by young people remained stable during this period. Full multilevel regression models explained 29 and 34% of the neighbourhood variance of premarital sex in 2000 and 2009. For multiple partnerships and condom use, the explained variance was 29 and 18% in 2000; whereas in 2009 it was extremely low. Urban residence and living in neighbourhood with higher average duration of residence were associated with low premarital sex and higher condom use. Living in a neighbourhood with higher average level of comprehensive knowledge of HIV was associated with less risky sexual behaviour. Conclusion: Declining trends in premarital sex and multiple partnerships are among the factors that might explain the decrease in HIV incidence in Zambia among young people. However, condom use among young people has remained low and stable over the years. The results also suggest that behaviour change interventions should take stock of the social context when introducing individual-level programmes because neighbourhood factors play a considerable role in influencing sexual behaviour.


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