Sexual debut and predictors of condom use among secondary school students in Arusha, Tanzania.AIDS Care. 1996 Aug; 8(4):443-52.AC
A cross-sectional survey was conducted using interviews among 852 students attending seven secondary schools in the Arusha region, Northern Tanzania, to predict determinants of sexual debut and recent condom use among students. Schools were sampled according to location, school size and ownership criteria. Subjects were randomly sampled within grade-level and gender through use of class registers. Altogether, 528 students were sexually active. Males were more likely than females to report their sexual debut status (82.0% versus 33.3%; OR = 8.78; 95% CI: 6.17-12.49). Among males, incidence of sexual debut increased with grade-level, but decreased according to religious affiliation. None of the socio-demographic predictor variables used in this study had a significant association with sexual debut among females when age was controlled for. Of the sexually active students, 26.8% reported having ever used a condom and 21.5% reported use of condoms during their most recent sexual encounter. Late sexual debut, prolonged duration of dating before intercourse and having only one sex partner were significantly associated with increased condom use during the most recent occasion. Condom use increased with levels of education, but gender was not significantly linked to increased condom use. Condom use was particularly infrequent among casual sex partners. We observed a marked gender difference among students with respect to their sexual debut status, but no such difference was found in relation to condom use.