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Youth, Sexual Risk-Taking Behavior, and Mental Health: a Study of University Students in Uganda.

Agardh, Anette LU ; Cantor-Graae, Elizabeth LU and Östergren, Per-Olof LU (2012) In International Journal of Behavioral Medicine 19. p.208-216
Abstract
BACKGROUND: Little focus has been paid to the role of mental health among young people with regard to risky sexual behavior and HIV prevention in sub-Saharan Africa. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between poor mental health and risky sexual behavior (HIV/AIDS) among a population of university students in Uganda. METHODS: In 2005, 980 Ugandan university students completed a self-administered questionnaire (response rate 80%) assessing sociodemographic and religious background factors, mental health, alcohol use, and sexual behavior. Mental health was assessed using items from the Hopkins Symptoms Checklist-25 and the Symptom Checklist-90. RESULTS: High scores on depression and high numbers of sexual partners among... (More)
BACKGROUND: Little focus has been paid to the role of mental health among young people with regard to risky sexual behavior and HIV prevention in sub-Saharan Africa. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between poor mental health and risky sexual behavior (HIV/AIDS) among a population of university students in Uganda. METHODS: In 2005, 980 Ugandan university students completed a self-administered questionnaire (response rate 80%) assessing sociodemographic and religious background factors, mental health, alcohol use, and sexual behavior. Mental health was assessed using items from the Hopkins Symptoms Checklist-25 and the Symptom Checklist-90. RESULTS: High scores on depression and high numbers of sexual partners among both males (odds ratio (OR) 2.0, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.2-3.3) and females (OR 3.3, 95% CI 1.3-8.6) were significantly associated. Elevated anxiety scores among men were associated with high numbers of sexual partners (OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.1-3.3) and inconsistent condom use (OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.1-3.6). Psychoticism was also significantly associated with high numbers of sexual partners among men. The associations remained statistically significant after controlling for sociodemographic factors and level of alcohol consumption. CONCLUSION: These findings indicate that previous conclusions on the association between sexual behavior and mental health from high- and middle-income countries also are valid in a low-income setting, such as in Uganda. This knowledge has implications for policy formation and HIV/AIDS preventive strategies. Coordinated youth-friendly mental health and sexual and reproductive health services to meet the needs of young people would be desirable. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
International Journal of Behavioral Medicine
volume
19
pages
208 - 216
publisher
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
external identifiers
  • wos:000304399500009
  • pmid:21590465
  • scopus:84863778281
ISSN
1070-5503
DOI
10.1007/s12529-011-9159-4
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
80f17681-0587-4ba3-a92a-ac7f8af2daac (old id 1972392)
alternative location
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21590465?dopt=Abstract
date added to LUP
2011-06-07 21:19:44
date last changed
2017-10-29 03:14:15
@article{80f17681-0587-4ba3-a92a-ac7f8af2daac,
  abstract     = {BACKGROUND: Little focus has been paid to the role of mental health among young people with regard to risky sexual behavior and HIV prevention in sub-Saharan Africa. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between poor mental health and risky sexual behavior (HIV/AIDS) among a population of university students in Uganda. METHODS: In 2005, 980 Ugandan university students completed a self-administered questionnaire (response rate 80%) assessing sociodemographic and religious background factors, mental health, alcohol use, and sexual behavior. Mental health was assessed using items from the Hopkins Symptoms Checklist-25 and the Symptom Checklist-90. RESULTS: High scores on depression and high numbers of sexual partners among both males (odds ratio (OR) 2.0, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.2-3.3) and females (OR 3.3, 95% CI 1.3-8.6) were significantly associated. Elevated anxiety scores among men were associated with high numbers of sexual partners (OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.1-3.3) and inconsistent condom use (OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.1-3.6). Psychoticism was also significantly associated with high numbers of sexual partners among men. The associations remained statistically significant after controlling for sociodemographic factors and level of alcohol consumption. CONCLUSION: These findings indicate that previous conclusions on the association between sexual behavior and mental health from high- and middle-income countries also are valid in a low-income setting, such as in Uganda. This knowledge has implications for policy formation and HIV/AIDS preventive strategies. Coordinated youth-friendly mental health and sexual and reproductive health services to meet the needs of young people would be desirable.},
  author       = {Agardh, Anette and Cantor-Graae, Elizabeth and Östergren, Per-Olof},
  issn         = {1070-5503},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {208--216},
  publisher    = {Lawrence Erlbaum Associates},
  series       = {International Journal of Behavioral Medicine},
  title        = {Youth, Sexual Risk-Taking Behavior, and Mental Health: a Study of University Students in Uganda.},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12529-011-9159-4},
  volume       = {19},
  year         = {2012},
}