Selam Yirga Tesfaye Gobena Gudina Egata


Background : It is well documented that college students are practicing risky sexual behaviours globally. Studies conducted in
high school and few former Ethiopian universities have documented increasing sexual activities among youth. However, there is
lack of study about the sexual behaviour of students joining newly established universities in Ethiopia. Therefore, this study will
help to fill the existing information gap and provide data to take immediate evidence based action.
Objective: The objective of the study was to assess the risky sexual behaviour and factors contributing to it in the face of
sexually transmitted infections (STI) including HIV/AIDS among Samara University students
Methods: The study was conducted in Samara University, Ethiopia from Nov. 10, 2009 to Jan.10, 2010 using a
cross-sectional study design. Questionnaires were self-administered to 422 randomly selected Samara University students. Six
focus group discussions and three interviews with key informants were also conducted with purposively selected students and
students’ dean, students’ clinic head and students’ council president, respectively. Descriptive statistics and logistic regressions
analysis with 95% confidence intervals were used. Qualitative data were transcribed, translated, and manually analysed with
selected themes.
Results: Out of the total respondents, 186(47.9%) of students had sexual experience. Of the 186 sexually experienced
students, 112(43.4%) were male and 74(58.7%) were female (p=0.002). In this study, 54.3% of students had sex in the
previous one year whereas 27.7% of them had more than one sexual partner., 72.3 had unplanned/unwanted sex, 55.6 % had
visited commercial sex workers and 45.7% of the students had sex in exchange for money or gifts in the past one year. Gender,
risk perception and having multiple sexual partnerships have found positive association to have had sex. Females were 4 times
more likely to have sex than males (95%CI; (1.72, 11.59). STI including HIV/AIDS risk perception is a strong predictor of
having sex in the last 12 months and multiple sexual partnership (AOR=9.1; 95%CI, (2.59, 31.93, AOR=10.015; 95%CI,
2.70-37.78), respectively.
Conclusion: The study population are vulnerable to STI including HIV because of their sexual behaviour. Sexual and
reproductive health services to reduce risky sexual behaviours and to promote reproductive health education should be designed
and improved for university students especially in the universities established in the rural setting like Samara University
(Ethiopian Journal of Reproductive Health , 2012,6(1): 70-81).



Original Articles