Determinants of youth sexual behaviours and knowledge of reproductive tract infections (RTIs) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in Malawi : evidenced from the Demographic Health Survey 2010
Ningpuanyeh, Wilson Chialepeh
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The sexual behaviour of youths is believed to play a role in the spread of SexuallyTransmitted Infections (STIs) and Reproductive Tract Infections (RTIs). This study examinesthe determinants of youth sexual behaviours and knowledge of reproductive tract infections (RTIs) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in Malawi. It explores rural/urbandifferentials in sexual behaviours using indicators such as early sexual initiation, multiplesexual partnerships, and non-use of condoms, in order to establish policy recommendationstoward improving sexual behaviour among youths. The Malawi Demographic Health Survey2010 data was used. Out of a sample of 2987 males and 9559 females aged 15-24 years,5652 females and 1405 males (condom use), 675 females and 511 males (inconsistentcondom use), 6470 females and 2026 males (multiple sexual partnerships (MSP)), and 15217females and 1405 males (early sexual debut) were filtered in the study.Chi-square and logistic regression techniques were performed to test for association betweensexual behaviour indicators and socio-demographic variables. The prevalence of non-use ofcondom was higher among catholic females (OR=1.11), lower among Muslim males (OR=0.81) and higher among CCAP females (OR=1.19). Muslim females were (OR=1.42) more likely to initiate sexual activities early, while Muslim males were (OR= 0.57) less likelyto initiate sexually activities early. Females in the central region (OR=1.51) and catholicmales (OR=1.63) were more likely to have more sexual partners.Encouraging these young people to be faithful to one uninfected partner, abstinence fromsexual activities, use condoms consistently and delay sexual initiation will help curb the spread of STIs in Malawi.