Sexuality and behaviour of adolescents in relationship to sexually transmitted diseases in Libreville: a cross-sectional study
Keywords:Adolescents, Behaviour, Sexuality, Sexually transmitted infections
Background: The World Health Organization (WHO) defines a sexually transmitted infection (STI) as an infection that is transmitted during unprotected sexual intercourse. Indeed, the highest rates of STIs are usually found among young people aged 15 to 24. In Gabon, adolescents' knowledge of sexuality and STIs remains insufficient and early sexual intercourse is the most important factor favouring them. Improving adolescents' knowledge of sexuality education could influence their behaviour.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 1256 adolescents in schools in Libreville. Their socio-demographic characteristics, knowledge about STIs, the description of their sexuality and their behaviour towards STIs were obtained through ratings and frequencies. Authos calculated the overall average of adolescents on their knowledge of STIs. Odds ration were used to establish the link between the different variables.
Results: Adolescents reported knowledge of STIs (1163/1256). AIDS was the most frequently cited STI by 94.50% of adolescents. Sexual intercourse was the main route of STI transmission and was cited by 687 adolescents who estimated that they knew at least one mode of STI transmission. Almost all female and male adolescents had poor knowledge of STIs, with 98.2% and 98.8% respectively. 84.96% of those with a sexual partner had ever had sex. More than half of sexually active adolescents had multiple partners.
Conclusions: Adolescents have a poor overall knowledge of STIs. Sexual risk behaviour remains very high, regardless of gender. To contain the scourge, awareness campaigns using all the means of communication at our disposal and especially the media.
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