Risk Factors for Transactional Sex among Young Females in PostConflict Liberia

Chinelo C. Okigbo, Donna R. McCarraher, Mario Chen, Allison Pack

Abstract

This study aimed to examine the risk factors for engaging in transactional sex among young females in Montserrado County, Liberia. Data from an HIV behavioral survey conducted among young people aged 14 – 25 years were used. The analytical sample included 493 sexually-experienced females. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were conducted. We found that 72% of our sample had ever engaged in transactional sex. Engagement in transactional sex was associated with education (OR: 0.5); reporting no earned income (OR: 1.9); longer duration of sexual activity (OR: 3.5); early sexual debut (OR: 2.5); history of sexual violence (OR: 2.1) and multiple sexual partnerships (OR: 4.0). Respondents' age, residence, and drug/alcohol use were not associated with engagement in transactional sex. HIV interventions should incorporate educational strategies to reduce the prevalence of transactional sex among young people.  These strategies should include economic opportunities to offset financial need as well as efforts to eradicate sexual violence. (Afr J Reprod Health 2014; 18[3]: 133-141)

 

Keywords: Transactional sex, Young women, HIV risk behaviors, Post-conflict, Liberia.

 

Résumé 

Cette étude vise à examiner les facteurs de risque associés au rapport sexuel transactionnel chez les jeunes femmes dans le comté de Montserrado, Liberia. Nous avons utilisé les données d'une enquête  sur le comportement des jeunes gens âgés de 14 - 25 ans face au VIH. L'échantillon d'analyse comprenait 493 femmes sexuellement expérimentées. Des analyses bivariées et  multivariées ont été effectuées. Nous avons constaté que 72% de notre échantillon avait déjà eu des rapports sexuels transactionnels. L'engagement dans le rapport sexuel transactionnel a été associé à l'éducation (OR: 0,5); celles qui  déclarent  qu’elles n’ont gagné aucun revenu  (OR: 1,9); une plus longue durée de l'activité sexuelle (OR: 3,5); le début précoce du rapport sexuel (OR: 2,5); des antécédents de violence sexuelle (OR: 2,1) et les partenariats sexuels multiples (OR: 4,0).  L'âge, le domicile des interviewées et l’usage de la drogue ou l’alcool n'étaient pas associés à l’engagement à des rapports sexuels transactionnels. Les interventions contre le VIH devraient intégrer les stratégies éducatives pour réduire la prévalence des rapports sexuels transactionnels chez les jeunes. Ces stratégies devraient inclure des possibilités économiques pour compenser les besoins financiers ainsi que les efforts qui visent à éradiquer la violence sexuelle. (Afr J Reprod Health 2014; 18[3]: 133-141)

 

Mots-clés: rapports sexuels transactionnel,  jeunes femmes,  comportements à risque par rapport au VIH, de l’après-conflit, Libéria.

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