Factors associated with HIV/AIDS sexual risk among young women aged 15-24 years in Nigeria

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Chinekwu A. Obidoa *
Cyr E. M'Lan
Stephen L. Schensul
(*) Corresponding Author:
Chinekwu A. Obidoa | chinekwuobidoa@yahoo.co.uk


The growing rate of sexual risk-taking among young people contributes significantly to the spread of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Nigeria. This study, explores the influence of socio-demographic, HIV/AIDS awareness and female empowerment on the sexual risk behaviors of unmarried Nigerian women aged 15-24. The data presented in this paper was drawn from the 2003 Nigeria National Demographic and Health Survey. The sample consisted of unmarried women aged 15-24 in the dataset. Data was collected through a structured and interviewer administered questionnaire. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to identify the most important predictors of sexual risk behaviors. Sexual risk-taking is relatively high among unmarried young women. Among those who are sexually active, 80% indicated that they did not use a condom during their first sexual encounter. Regression analysis revealed that younger age, lower HIV/AIDS prevention and transmission knowledge, lower knowledge of where to obtain condoms, lower material standard of living and greater intimate partner violence were significantly associated with sexual risk-taking in this population. Findings revealed that the sexual behavior of unmarried Nigerian women aged 15-24 is influenced by a complex matrix of factors. Identifying specific processes and contexts that promote the concentration of risk among sub-sections of young unmarried women aged 15-24 years in Nigeria should be a research and intervention priority.

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Author Biographies

Cyr E. M'Lan, Department of Community Medicine and Health Care, University of Connecticut

Assistant ProfessorDepartment of Statistics
215 Glenbrook Road, Unit 4120
Storrs, CT, 06269

Stephen L. Schensul, Department of Community Medicine and Health Care, University of Connecticut

Professor of Community Medicine and
Health Care,
Director of the Center for International Community Health Studies