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Reprod Health. 2013 Apr 1;10:18. doi: 10.1186/1742-4755-10-18.

Predictors of sexual abstinence among Wolaita Sodo University Students, South Ethiopia.



It is over 30 years since the first case of AIDS [Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome] was identified. Attention has been focused recently on the promotion of the "ABCs" of HIV prevention (being abstinent or delaying sex, remaining faithful to one sexual partner, and using condoms consistently during sexual intercourse). As programs that focus on ABCs to prevent heterosexual transmission HIV are rolled out, questions of how well university students who come from varied cultural contexts actually understand the terms and address challenges to adopt behaviors is unanswered. In Ethiopia, despite the mushrooming number of students in the higher learning institutions with the current figure being 210,000 students accommodated in 33 public and 72 private higher learning institutions, sexual and reproductive health services, are not delivered in an organized way. The objective of this study is to identify factors associated with Sexual abstinence among Wolaita Sodo University students to provide evidence for designing appropriate interventions.


A Cross-Sectional study was conducted among 750 undergraduate students selected from Wolaita Sodo University using a stratified simple random sampling technique during the academic year. Data were collected using structured self administered questionnaire, focus group discussion and in depth interview guides as tools for data collection. Ethical clearance was obtained from Jimma University and informed consent was obtained from the participants after explaining purpose of study. Statistical tests were employed wherever necessary at the significance level of 0.05.


All of the participants had heard about HIV/AIDS of which 97.3% had good knowledge. Higher proportions of male students were sexually active than their counter parts. Students with better knowledge on HIV AIDS were 6.6 (95%CI=1.6, 12.9) times more likely to abstain from sexual intercourse than their counter parts.


Knowledge of students about risk of HIV infection is strong predictors of sexual abstinence of students which were less observed among students who came from rural areas. The university needs to intensify strong behavior change communication using multiple strategies through the active involvement of students themselves within the university's premises and in the surrounding community in collaboration with stakeholders to promote Sexual abstinence.

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