Risky Sexual Behaviors among Urban Youth in Post-Conflict Liberia

Albert Harris, University of Liberia
Stephen Kennedy, Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation
Pearl Fahnbulleh, University of Liberia
Momolu Massaquoi, University of Liberia
Ernlee Barbu, University of Liberia
Salome Garber, University of Liberia
Oretha Perry, University of Liberia
Prince Korvah, University of Liberia
Moses Kolubah, University of Liberia
Mawen Gobeh, University of Liberia
Jemee Tegli, University of Liberia

Globally, young people aged 15-24 account for an estimated 45% of new HIV infections, of which, Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is gravely affected (The Joint United Nations Programme on AIDS, 2008). Liberia, a country west of SSA has not escaped the massive and terrible effect of this HIV/AIDS epidemic, especially among vulnerable populations like youths. For example, HIV prevalence among 15-24 year-olds was estimated as 5.7% (NACP Survey report 2007), which is generally assumed to be higher than reported. However, scanty information is available on the HIV risk behaviors of urban youth in post-conflict Liberia. In this presentation, we report the correlates of risky sexual behaviors from the baseline data of 709 youth aged 15-17 enrolled in an ongoing randomized controlled trial (RCT) with 12-months of follow up. We anticipate that the findings from this report have the potential to contribute to the research and policy gaps associated with risky sexual behaviors in post-conflict Liberia.

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Presented in Session 179: Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health in Sub-Saharan Africa