By John Agaba
A new study by Uganda Youth Development Link (UYDL) shows that more youths don’t use condoms during their first sexual encounter.
At least six out of 10 youths intervened from Kampala slums admitted to not using protection the very first time they had sex or when they broke their virginity.
“They had been persuaded by their peers into having sex or by persons much older than them when they were drunk. Some had been raped,” Monica H. Swahn, the associate vice president for urban health research at Georgia State University, Atlanta, USA, said, while presenting the report at Hotel Africana in Kampala Wednesday.
The study, a collaboration between UYDL and the Georgia University, also shows that 46% of the youths have three or more sexual partners; 17% have been raped; and that HIV prevalence among the group is high, at 10.5%.
The national prevalence stands at 7.3%.
It also shows that there is a high correlation between alcohol abuse and sexual intercourse and HIV prevalence.
The study, conducted among 1134 slum youths between ages 12 and 18 between March and April this year, shows that youths who misuse alcohol are more likely to engage in sex and they were three times more likely to get HIV than youths who didn’t use alcohol at all.
“This is because alcohol impairs someone’s judgment they end up having sex in circumstances they ordinarily would not have had sex. Alcohol use contributes to multiple concurrent sexual partners and low condom use,” Prof. Swahn said.
Overall, of the 1134 respondents interviewed, 52% said they had ever had sex; 42% had had sexual intercourse before the age of 14, and 14% engaged in commercial