Predictors of risky sexual behaviour among young people in the era of HIV/AIDS: evidence from the 2008 Botswana AIDS Impact Survey III

Gobopamang Letamo, Lucky L. Mokgatlhe


The objective of this study is to fill in that research gap by investigating factors that are likely to predict Botswana’s young people’s practicing risky sexual behaviour in the era of HIV/AIDS. Data used in this study were obtained from a nationally representative sample of 5,810 young people aged 15 to 29 who had completed an individual questionnaire of the 2008 Botswana AIDS Impact Survey III. Both descriptive and multiple regression analyses were used for analysis. Elevated odds ratio (OR) values were obtained from a linear model analysis, showing statistically significant predictors of risky sexual behaviour among young people who have experienced coerced sex (OR=2.2), substance use (OR=1.8), having had sex before the age of 15 (OR=1.9), being older (OR=1.1) and lack of sexual self-efficacy (OR=1.6). Therefore risk reduction strategies aimed at addressing these potential problems should target young people before they enter adolescence and should develop gender-specific strategies. (Afr J Reprod Health 2013; 17[3]: 169-181).




L'objectif de cette étude est de combler cette lacune-là qui existe dans la recherche tout en examinant  les facteurs qui sont susceptibles de prédire la pratique de comportements sexuels à risque chez les jeunes gens du Botswana à l'ère du VIH / SIDA.  Les données utilisées dans cette étude ont été obtenues à partir d'un échantillon national représentatif de 5810 jeunes âgés de 15 à 29 ans qui avaient remplir un questionnaire individuel du Botswana AIDS Impact Survey III 2008. Des analyses de régression à la fois descriptive et multiples ont été utilisées pour l'analyse. Les rapports de  valeurs de cotes élevé (OR) ont été obtenus à partir d'une analyse du modèle linéaire, montrant des  indices statistiquement significatifs de comportements sexuels à risque chez les jeunes qui ont eu des relations sexuelles sous la contrainte (OR = 2,2), la consommation de drogue (OR = 1,8), après avoir eu des relations sexuelles avant l’âge de 15 ans (OR = 1,9), étant plus âgés (OR = 1,1) et le manque d’auto-efficacité  sexuelle(OR = 1,6).  Par conséquent, les stratégies de réduction de risque  destinées à résoudre ces problèmes potentiels devraient cibler les jeunes gens avant qu'ils n’entrent dans l'adolescence et devrait élaborer des stratégies propres à chaque sexe. (Afr J Reprod Health 2013; 17[3]: 169-181).



Keywords:  Risky sexual behaviour, young people, HIV/AIDS, Botswana

Full Text:



Obidoa CA, M”Lan CE, and Schensul SL. Factors associated with HIV/AIDS sexual risk among young women aged 15-24 years in Nigeria. Journal of Public Health in Africa 2012; 3:e15: doi:10.4081/jphia.2012.e15.

UNAIDS. Global Report: UNAIDS Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic, 2010.

Kirby DB, Laris BA, and Rolleri LA. Sex and HIV education: their impact on sexual behaviour of young people throughout the world. Journal of Adolescent Health 2007; 40(3): 206-217.

Pettifor AE, van der Straten A, Dunbar MS, Shiboski SC, and Padian NS. Early age at first sex: a risk factor for HIV infection among women in Zimbabwe. AIDS 2004; 18(10): 1435-1442.

Hulton LA, Cullen R, and Khalokho W. Perceptions of the Risks of Sexual Activity and Their Consequences among Ugandan Adolescents. Studies in Family Planning 2000; 31(1): 35-46.

McCauley AP, and Salter C. Meeting the needs of young adults. Population reports 1995; Series J, No 41. Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, Population Information Program.

O’Donnell BL, O’Donnell CR, and Stueve A. Early sexual initiation and subsequent sex-related risks among urban minority youth: the reach for health study. Family Planning Perspectives 2001; 33(6): 268-275.

Cerwonka ER, Isbell TR, and Hansen CE. Psychosocial factors as predictors of unsafe sexual practices among young adults. AIDS Education & Prevention 2000; 2 (2): 141-153.

Gilborn L.Z. (2002). The effects of HIV infection and

AIDS on children in Africa. West Journal of Medicine: 176(1): 12-14.

Cote AM, Sobela F, Dzokoto A, Nzambi K, Asamoah-Adu C, Labbe AC, Masse B, Mensah J, Frost E, and Pepin J. Transactional sex is the driving force in the dynamics of HIV in Accra, Ghana. AIDS 2004: 18(6): 917-925.

Jones EF and Forrester JD. Teenage Pregnancy in Industrialized Countries. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1986.

Senderowitz J and Paxman JM. Adolescent fertility: Worldwide concerns. Population Bulletin 1985; 40(2): 3-49.

Voydanoff P and Donnelly BW. Adolescent sexuality and pregnancy, Newburry Park, CA: Sage Publications, 1990.

Wulf D, Singh S. Sexual activity, union and childbearing among adolescent women in the Americas. International Family Planning Perspectives 1991; 17:137-144.

Yinger N. de Sherbinin A, Ochoa L, et al. Adolescent Sexual Activity and Childbearing in Latin America and the Caribbean: Risks & Consequences.

Washington, DC: Population Reference Bureau, 1992.

Slaymaker E and Zaba B. Measurement of condom use as a risk factor for HIV infection. Reproductive Health Matters 2003; 11: 174-184.

Abraham L and Kumar KA. Sexual experiences and their correlates among college students in Mumbai city, India. International Family Planning

Perspectives 1999; 25(3): 139-146.

Irwin CE Jr and Millstein SG. Biopsychosocial correlates of risk-taking behaviours during adolescence. Journal of Adolescent Health Care 1986; 7: 825-965.

Millstein SG and Moscicki A. Sexually transmitted disease in female adolescents: Effects of psychosocial factors and high-risk behaviours. Journal of Adolescent Health 1995; 17: 83-90.

Bachanas PJ, Morris MK, Lewis-Gess JK, Sarett-Cuasay EJ, Sirl K, Ries JK, and Sawyer MK. Predictors of

Risky Sexual Behaviour in African American Adolescent Girls: Implications for Prevention Interventions. Journal of Pediatric Psychology 2002; 27(6): 519-530.

Rwenge M. Sexual Risk Behaviours Among Young People in Bamenda, Cameroon. International Family Planning Perspectives 2000; 26(3): 118-123.

Letamo, G. Contributions of the proximate determinants to fertility change in Botswana. Journal of Biosocial Sciences 1996; 28:325-338.

UNAIDS. Innovative Approaches to HIV Prevention: Selected Case Studies, Geneva, Switzerland, 2000.

Bankole A, Singh S, Woog V, and Wulf D. Risk and Protection: Youth and HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa: New York. The Alan Guttmacher Institute, 2004.

Keller S, Bartlett J, Schleifer S, Johnson R, Pinner E, and Delancey B. HIV-relevant sexual behaviour among a healthy inner-city heterosexual adolescent population in an endemic area of HIV. Journal of Adolescent Health 1991; 12: 44-48.

Orr DP, Beiter M, and Ingersol G. Premature sexual activity as an indicator of psychosocial risk. Pediatrics 1991; 87: 141-147.

Fortenberry JD. Adolescent substance use and sexually transmitted diseases risk: A review. Journal of Adolescent Health 1995; 16: 304-308.

Millstein SG, Irwin CE Jr, Adler NE, Cohn LD, Kegeles SM, and Dolcini MM. Health-risk behaviours and health concerns among young adolescents, Pediatrics 1992; 89: 422-428.

Smith CA. Factors associated with early sexual activity among urban adolescents. Social Work, 1997; 42: 334-346.

Black MM, Ricardo IB, and Stanton B. Social and psychological factors associated with AIDS risk behaviours among low-income, urban, African American adolescents. Journal of Research on Adolescence 1997; 7: 173-195.

Republic of Botswana. 2011 ANC Sentinel Surveillance Survey. National AIDS Coordinating Agency, Gaborone, Botswana, 2012.

Letamo G. Does correct knowledge about HIV and AIDS lead to safe sexual behaviour? The case of young people in Botswana. African Population Studies 2011; 25(1): 44-62.

Republic of Botswana. Preliminary Botswana HIV/AIDS Impact Survey Results 2009;

Stats Brief, May. National AIDS Coordinating Agency and Central Statistics Office.

Masatu MV, Kazaura MR, Ndeki S, and Mwampambe R. Predictors of Risky Sexual Behaviour among

Adolescents in Tanzania. AIDS Behaviour 2009; 13:

-99. doi.10.1007/s10461-007-9292-x


  • There are currently no refbacks.