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Risk factors associated with HIV infection among young persons aged 15-24 years: evidence from an in-depth analysis of the 2005-06 Zimbabwe Demographic and Health Survey



Risk factors associated with HIV infection among young persons aged 15-24 years: evidence from an in-depth analysis of the 2005-06 Zimbabwe Demographic and Health Survey



Sahara J 9(2): 54-63



This study focuses on factors that predispose young persons aged 15-24 years in Zimbabwe to infection from HIV. Using the Mosley and Chen framework, multivariate modelling was used to assess the effect of demographic, socio-economic and behavioural factors on the risk of HIV infection among this target group. The study utilised data from the Zimbabwe Demographic and Health Survey (ZDHS) conducted in 2005-06. Only the variables that were significant in the bivariate analysis were included in the multivariate binary logistic regression. Young females aged 15-24 years are associated with a significant two-fold elevated risk of HIV infection relative to their male peers (p < 0.000). Young persons aged 15-24 years who were divorced, widowed or not living together have significantly elevated risk compared with their never-married counterparts, OR = 5.267 (p = 0.000); OR = 4.323 (p = 0.000) and OR = 3.272 (p = 0.000), respectively. Young persons whose age at first sexual intercourse was less than 14 years are significantly associated with 2.696 times more risk of HIV infection relative to their peers whose age at first sexual intercourse was 20-24 years (p = 0.000). Young persons aged 15-24 years with two or more sex partners in the past 12 months preceding the 2005-06 ZDHS survey had a significantly elevated risk of HIV infection of 1.568 times relative to their counterparts with no sex partners in the same period of time. Great challenges still exist for the control of HIV and AIDS among young persons in Zimbabwe. HIV prevention programmes targeted at young persons aged 15-24 years should provide invigorated focus on marital status, age at sexual debut, number of sexual partners, sexually transmitted infections and condom use so as to mitigate these predisposing factors for HIV infection.

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Accession: 055579509

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PMID: 23237040

DOI: 10.1080/17290376.2012.683579


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