Contextual Determinants of Sexual Risky Behaviors among Adolescents in Urban Cape Town, South Africa: Findings from a Longitudinal Study Using a Cumulative Risk Factor Approach

Evans Muchiri, University of the Witwatersrand
Clifford O. Odimegwu, University of the Witwatersrand
Pamela C. Banda, University of the Witwatersrand

Studies in South Africa have reported high levels of unsafe sexual activity among adolescents. Globally, South Africa has one of the biggest HIV/AIDS epidemics of any country, and also reports a high rate of teenage pregnancies. There is need to develop innovative ways of understanding sexual risky behaviors to inform interventions that work to reduce HIV infections and unwanted teenage pregnancies. We applied the innovative cumulative risk factor approach to determine contextual factors of sexual risky behaviors among adolescents in urban South Africa using the Cape Area Panel Study. Significant factors occurring at the individual, household, and community levels were integrated to create risk profiles of adolescents. Our results point to the importance of contextual variables in influencing sexual risky behaviours and also demonstrate that assuming risk factors act cumulatively is a powerful approach to modeling sexual behaviors.

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Presented in Session 167: Adolescent Sexuality and Sexual Behavior