HIV/AIDS Knowledge, Sexual Context, and Contraceptive Use at Sexual Debut among Urban South African Youths

Kate C. Prickett, University of Texas at Austin

Prior research has been concerned with the relatively weak association between HIV prevention-related awareness and contraceptive use among South African youths. One potential explanation concerns the ability of youths’ to effectively negotiate contraceptive use, especially girls. Using the Cape Area Panel Study, this study examines whether HIV prevention-related knowledge prior to first sexual intercourse and characteristics of youths’ first sex partner predict early sexual initiation and contraceptive use at first sex. Findings suggest that age discordance at first sex halved the likelihood of using a condom at sexual debut for girls, whereas similar to previous research, HIV prevention-related knowledge is not significantly related to early sexual debut or contraceptive use. This study extends prior research by using longitudinal data to predict behavior based on HIV knowledge prior to sexual debut and exploring alternate pathways, such as relationship power dynamics that may influence the ability to effectively negotiate contraceptive use.

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Presented in Poster Session 8: Adult Health and Mortality