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Sexual and reproductive health knowledge among adolescents in eight sites across sub-Saharan Africa

Finlay, JE; Assefa, N; Mwanyika-Sando, M; Dessie, Y; Harling, G; Njau, T; Chukwu, A; ... Bukenya, J; + view all (2020) Sexual and reproductive health knowledge among adolescents in eight sites across sub-Saharan Africa. Tropical Medicine & International Health , 25 (1) pp. 44-53. 10.1111/tmi.13332.

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Abstract

Objective:: To examine knowledge of menstruation, HIV and STIs other than HIV across eight sites in SSA to develop effective programmatic interventions enabling adolescents to achieve positive SRH as their transition to adulthood. Methods: We combine data from eight Health and Demographic Surveillance Sites across sub‐Saharan Africa, from an adolescent‐specific survey that included 7116 males and females age 10–19 years old. We provide pooled and site‐specific estimates from multiple analytic models examining the how year‐specific age, school attendance and work correlate with knowledge of menstruation, HIV knowledge and knowledge of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) other than HIV. Results: Many adolescents lack knowledge of menstruation (37.3%, 95% CI 31.8, 43.1 do not know of menstruation) and STIs other than HIV (55.9%, 95% CI 50.4, 61.3 do not know of other STIs). In multivariate analysis, older age, being in school and wealth are significant positive correlates of STI knowledge. Older adolescent age, female sex and being in school are significant positive correlates of knowledge of menstruation. Knowledge of HIV is high (89.7%, 95% CI 8.3, 12.7 know of HIV) and relatively similar across adolescent age, sex, wealth and school and work attendance. Conclusion: Knowledge of HIV is widespread across adolescents in these communities in sub‐Saharan Africa, but knowledge of other dimensions of sexual and reproductive health – menstruation and other STIs in this study – is lacking especially for early adolescents (10‐ to 14‐year olds). The dissemination of more comprehensive sexual and reproductive health information is needed within these and similar communities in SSA to help adolescents gain insight on how to make their own decisions towards positive adolescent sexual and reproductive health and protect them from risks.

Type: Article
Title: Sexual and reproductive health knowledge among adolescents in eight sites across sub-Saharan Africa
Location: England
DOI: 10.1111/tmi.13332
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/tmi.13332
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10085756
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