Sexual and Reproductive Health Behaviours among University Students in Namibia as Risk Factors in Acquiring HIV Infection

Toyin Olawale Jenyo, Ifeanyi Tony Ojiezeh


Background: Having multiple sexual partners is an important risk factor in acquiring HIV infection. It is also considered as one of the confounding factors in studies that implicated the use hormonal contraceptive as risk factor in HIV/STIs acquisition. Namibia is one of the countries in Africa with high HIV prevalence. With increasing burden of HIV infection among the youth globally, with about 31% of new HIV infection in 2008; occurring among people within the age 15-24. The need to understand the association between contraceptive use especially hormonal contraceptive and multiple sexual partners is important. More so that there are no studies on contraceptive use amongst young men and women in Namibia which is considered to be highly sexually active group, and especially on the association between contraception and multiple sexual partners (especially concurrent). The latter of which is considered to be a major perpetuating factor for HIV transmission, there is need to explore more on this area. Hence, the need to determine sexual and reproductive health behaviours among university students in Namibia as risk factors in acquiring HIV infection.Methods: Data was collected using questionnaires for quantitative cross-sectional survey among students in classes selected through simple random sampling in each stratum (University Campus). Relationship between independent variables (method of contraception, relationship status, misconceptions about the role of contraceptives in preventing STIs/HIV, transactional sex, HIV/STIs Risk perception) and dependent variable (multiple sexual partners) was measured using multivariate model of logistic regression analysis. Result: Condom (70.7%) was the most common birth control method used in the most recent vaginal sex, followed by withdrawal (20.6%) and 7.2% used birth control pills. Significant association was found between the use of birth control pills and multiple sexual partners, but there was no association between condom use and multiple sexual partners. Conclusion: Discussions on safe sexual behaviour and dual contraceptive should form important part of family planning counselling process, particularly when dealing with young people. This may aid reduction of HIV/STIs infection rate among the youth.

Keywords: Contraception, Safe sexual behavior, Students, Multiple sexual partners, HIV/STIs, Youth

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