n Gender and Behaviour - HIV risk behaviour among orphaned and non-orphaned female and male youths in South Africa

Volume 12, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1596-9231



This paper explored HIV risk behaviour among orphaned and non-orphaned youth in South Africa using cross-sectional population-based household survey data from persons aged 18 to 24 years in four South African provinces assessing orphan status, self-esteem, sexual activities, socioeconomic factors, and HIV status and risk. Multivariable logistic regression was used to compare HIV risk behaviours of orphans and non-orphans. Maternal male orphans were more likely to have an earlier sexual debut, more likely to have had more than two sexual partners in the past 12 months and were more likely to be HIV positive compared to their non-orphaned male peers. Among female youth orphan status was not found to be associated with HIV risk behaviour. Interventions aimed at preventing HIV risk behaviours among orphans should be aimed at providing psychosocial and economic support for orphans at high risk regardless whether they are maternal, paternal or double orphans.

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