Early sexual debut among young men in rural South Africa: heightened vulnerability to sexual risk?

Harrison, A.; Cleland, J.; Gouws, E.; Frohlich, J.
June 2005
Sexually Transmitted Infections;Jun2005, Vol. 81 Issue 3, p259
Academic Journal
journal article
Objective: This report examines early sexual debut (Methods: Analysis of sexual behaviour data for men 15-24 years (n = 314) from representative cross sectional household survey.Results: 13.1% of 15-24 year old men experienced sexual debut before age 15. Men with sexual debut at less than age 15 were more likely to report risk behaviours at first sexual experience: no condom use (19%), a casual partner (26.8%), and not feeling they had been "ready and wanted to have sex" (19.5%). In multivariate analysis, early sexual debut was strongly associated with > or = 3 partners in the past 3 years (OR = 10.26, p<0.01).Conclusions: Men who initiate sex before age 15 form a distinct risk group in this setting. Specific interventions are needed for young men in the pre-teen years, before sexual debut.


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