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Prevalence of High Risk Sexual Behaviour in Jamaican Adults and Its Relationship to Socio-demographic and Religious Factors: Findings from the Jamaica Health and Lifestyle Survey 2007–2008



Objective: To estimate the prevalence of high-risk sexual behaviours among Jamaican adults and evaluate associations with sociodemographic and religious factors.
Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study, using a nationally representative sample of Jamaicans, 15−74 years old. Participants completed an interviewer-administered questionnaire including questions on sexual activity, sociodemographic factors and religious practice. Having two or more sexual partners in the past year, non-use of condoms among persons with multiple partners and a history of previous sexually transmitted infection (STI) were the high-risk characteristics considered in the analysis. We obtained crude and category specific prevalence estimates for high-risk behaviour and estimated odds ratios for association with sociodemographic and religious factors.
Results: Data from 2833 participants who reported being sexually active were analysed. Approximately 25% (95% CI 22, 27) of Jamaican adults had two or more sexual partners in the past year, while 15% (95% CI 13, 17) had a past history of a STI. Approximately 6% (95% CI 5, 7) of persons with multiple partners did not use condoms during sexual intercourse. Overall, 32% (95% CI 30, 35) had any one of the three high-risk characteristics (male, 48%; female, 17%, p < 0.001). Being married, active religious practice and weekly attendance at religious meetings were associated with lower odds of high-risk sexual behaviour, while being in a visiting relationship was associated with higher odds of high-risk behaviour.
Conclusion: A third of Jamaicans reported sexual practices that increase their risk of HIV infection. High-risk sexual behaviour was more common among men. Being married and weekly attendance at religious services were associated with lower odds of high-risk behaviour.

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e-Published: 20 Feb, 2013

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