Sexual Risks and Concerns about AIDS among Adolescents in Anguilla
Department of Justice and Human Services
Concerns regarding HIV/AIDS infection and the health risk behaviours among youth in the Caribbean are growing. Considering that approximately 30% of the Caribbean's population falls between the ages of 10 to 24, there is considerable need for research on youth in this region. This paper reports findings regarding the sexual risks and concerns about AIDS among 1,225 enrolled school students in Anguilla, drawn from self-administered health surveys conducted in 2002. Although over 40% of youth reported lifetime alcohol use, experience with other drugs was moderate. Males initiated sexual activity at a much younger median age than females (11 years for males vs. 14 years for females), and were twice as likely to have had sexual intercourse. In a multivariate logistic regression model, being sexually active was predicted by male gender (p=.000), recent substance use (p=.000), recent depression (p=.018), and a history of physical (p=.025) and sexual (p=.000) abuse. Only 22% of sexually active youth under 12 years of age reported using condoms at last intercourse, compared to 71% of those 13 and over. Older sexually active youth were also much more likely than younger ones to express ongoing concern about becoming infected with HIV. Implications for needed HIV/AIDS-prevention interventions are discussed.
Kurtz, S. P., Douglas, K. G., & Lugo, Y. (2005). Sexual Risks and Concerns about AIDS among Adolescents in Anguilla. AIDS Care, 17 (1), 36-44. https://doi.org/10.1080/09540120500121250