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Risks and Vulnerabilities of Youth Towards STIs and HIV Infection; A Cross Sectional Study among Youth Attending ‘Youth Corps Centres’ in Western Province of Sri Lanka

Authors:

P. S. K. Batagalla ,

District General Hospital, Vavuniya, LK
About P. S. K.
Consultant Venereologist
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Ariyaratne Manathunge

National STD/AIDS Control Programme, Colombo, LK
About Ariyaratne
Consultant Venereologist
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Abstract

Introduction: Youth is the period where individuals transform from dependent childhood to independent adults. The incidence of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) and HIV among youth in Sri Lanka, is rising.

 

Objective: To assess the risk behaviours and vulnerabilities towards Sexually Transmitted Infections and HIV among youth attending youth corps centres in the Western province of Sri Lanka.

 

Method: A descriptive cross sectional study was carried out using a self-administered questionnaire among the trainees attached to youth corps centres (YCC) in Western province from October 2019 to February 2020.

 

Results: Youth attached to YCC were educated and were from poor economic background. A fair proportion had a good level of knowledge on STIs and HIV. Knowledge was positively associated with age, educational level and the wealth quintile. There is a significant difference of knowledge across ethnic and religious categories. Only 15.5% reported being sexually active and the majority of them (79.2%) were having multiple partners. Only 41% agreed that they would use condoms in the future. Sense of invulnerability, peer pressure, embarrassment to buy were the main reasons for not using a condom. Major source of SRH information was the internet and the available SRH services are underutilized, mainly due to unawareness.

 

Conclusions: Knowledge on STIs and HIV among these youth was satisfactory and a minority were sexually active. Risk behaviours were higher and access to available SRH services were poor.
How to Cite: Batagalla, P.S.K. and Manathunge, A., 2020. Risks and Vulnerabilities of Youth Towards STIs and HIV Infection; A Cross Sectional Study among Youth Attending ‘Youth Corps Centres’ in Western Province of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Journal of Sexual Health and HIV Medicine, 6, pp.43–47. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/joshhm.v6i0.95
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Published on 31 Dec 2020.
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