Skip to main content
main-content

01.12.2017 | Review | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

Reproductive Health 1/2017

Prevalence and determinants of risky sexual practice in Ethiopia: Systematic review and Meta-analysis

Zeitschrift:
Reproductive Health > Ausgabe 1/2017
Autoren:
Achenef Asmamaw Muche, Getachew Mullu Kassa, Abadi Kidanemariam Berhe, Gedefaw Abeje Fekadu
Abbreviations
AIDS
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
CINAHL
Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature
EDHS
Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey
HIV
Human Immunodeficiency Virus
JBI-MAStARI
Joanna Briggs Institute Meta-Analysis of Statistics Assessment and Review Instrument
OR
Odds Ratio
PRISMA
Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses
SD
Standard Deviation
USAID
United States Agency for International Development
WHO
World Health Organization

Plain English summary

Risky sexual practices increase the likelihood of sexually transmitted infections, unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortion. Ethiopia is one of the sub-Saharan countries with a high burden of sexual and reproductive health problems, risky sexual practices increase this burden. The prevalence of risky sexual practices varies from place to place in Ethiopia. Poor knowledge of sexual and reproductive health services, peer pressure, substance use and poverty are factors associated with risky sexual practices.
There were several studies on prevalence and determinants of risky sexual practices in Ethiopia; however, none show the magnitude and determinants at the national level. Therefore, this review was conducted to identify the prevalence and determinants of risky sexual practices in Ethiopia. Thirty-one articles with 43,695 participants were included. The review identified risky sexual practice as a common public health problem in Ethiopia. About 43% of the participants reported being involved in risky sexual practice. In this review, males were more likely to engage in risky sexual practices than females. Substances users were also more likely to engage in risky sexual practices. Individuals who reported the influence of others to reach decision were more likely to engage in risky sexual practices. Similarly, people who reported viewing pornography were more likely to engage in risky sexual practices. Therefore, governmental and non-governmental organizations should work to address the identified determinant factors to reduce the high burden of risky sexual practice.

Background

Risky sexual behavior is defined as any sexual activity that increases the risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections (STI) and unintended pregnancies. It includes having sex with multiple sexual partners, not using or inconsistent condom use, sex under the influence of substances and initiation of sex before the age of 18 years. An individual is considered as engaging in risky sexual practice if she/he experienced one or more of the above behaviors [1].
Risky sexual practices increase the risk of HIV/AIDS, unintended pregnancy, unsafe abortion and psychosocial problems [2]. These problems can be aggravated by low income, job insecurity, lack of awareness about sexual and reproductive health issues and harmful traditional practices [3].
Studies showed that poor knowledge of sexual and reproductive health services, peer pressure, substance use, low economic conditions, and poor supervision by parents are factors which can lead to risky sexual practices [4, 5]. Additionally, globalization, curiosity, and enthusiasm of persons to try new things, especially young people, increase risky sexual practices [5].
The Ethiopian government has developed and implemented various strategies to promote sexual and reproductive health [6]. Despite these interventions, different studies in the country showed a high prevalence of risky sexual practices. This level ranges from 13% in Humera to 27% in Addis Ababa [79]. These studies showed inconsistent findings of the prevalence of risky sexual practices. Therefore, this study was conducted to summarize the current evidence on the prevalence and determinants of risky sexual practices in Ethiopia.

Methods

Study design and search strategy

A systemic review and meta-analysis was conducted using published and unpublished research on the prevalence of risky sexual practices and its associated factors in Ethiopia. All relevant published studies in the following major databases; PubMed, Google scholar, CINAHL, and African Journals Online were included in the review. All published and unpublished articles up to December 30, 2016 were included in the review. The reference lists of identified studies were also reviewed to retrieve additional articles. Unpublished studies were retrieved from the official website of Addis Ababa University electronic database [10]. The following search terms were used: risky sexual practice, multiple sexual partners, commercial sex worker, early sexual initiation, premarital sex, inconsistent use of condom, unprotected sexual activity, sex under the influence of substances, sex with commercial sex workers and Ethiopia separately and/or in combination. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guideline was followed during the systematic review [11].

Study selection and eligibility criteria

The following criteria were used to determine the eligibility of studies.

Inclusion criteria:

  • Participants: this review included studies that were conducted on risky sexual practices and its determinants in Ethiopia. The participants were people of all ages regardless of their sex and occupation.
  • Setting: Studies conducted at community or institutional level in Ethiopia.
  • Outcome: The prevalence of risky sexual practices using the communicable disease control (CDC) definition [1].
  • Type of study: All study types were included in the review.
  • Publication types: journal articles, master’s thesis and dissertations
  • Only studies in English were included in the review.

Exclusion criteria:

  • Studies with the methodological problems and review articles were excluded from the review.
  • Retrieved articles were assessed for inclusion using their title, abstract and then a full-text review of articles for quality was done before inclusion in the final review.

Data extraction

The data extraction was done by four researchers using a data extraction tool. This tool included information on the title, author, year of survey and publication, study design, sample size, data collection procedure, study participants, study area, response rate, sampling method and the definition used for risky sexual practices.

Quality assessment and data collection

The Joanna Briggs Institute Meta-Analysis of Statistics Assessment and Review Instrument (JBI-MAStARI) was used for critical appraisal [12]. This tool contains a separate appraisal checklist for each type of the study design. Two reviewers independently assessed articles prior to inclusion in the final review using this instrument. Any disagreement which arose between the reviewers was resolved through discussion, and by involving a third reviewer. Studies with quality assessment score of 50% and above and studies having a response rate of 80% and above were included in the final review.

Publication bias and heterogeneity

Publication bias and heterogeneity were assessed. To check the publication bias, a funnel plot was used. The distribution of studies and a p-value <0.05 were used to declare publication bias. The heterogeneity of studies was checked using Q test and I 2 test statistics. I 2 test statistics results of 25%, 50%, and 75% were declared as low, moderate and high heterogeneity respectively. For the test result, which indicates the presence of heterogeneity, a random effects model was used for analysis.

Statistical methods and analysis

The meta-analysis was conducted using Review Manager (RevMan) software version 5.3. Forest plots were used to present the combined estimate with 95% confidence intervals (CI). For studies which did not present a standard error (SE), it was calculated using the formula; SE = √p x (1-p)/n in Microsoft excel. The calculated standard error and prevalence rate of each study was then entered into RevMan software to calculate the overall prevalence and its 95% CI. Subgroup analyses were conducted based on the gender, substance use, peer pressure and viewing pornography on the risky sexual practices of study participants.

Results

Study selection

The review found a total of 1120 published articles and 10 unpublished reports. From this, 102 duplicate records were removed and 977 records were excluded after screening by title and abstract. A total of 51 full-text articles were screened for eligibility. From this, 20 articles were excluded since they failed to fulfill the eligibility or quality criteria. Finally, 31 studies were included in the analysis (Fig. 1 ).

Characteristics of included studies

All included articles were cross-sectional studies. Four of the included studies were unpublished [1316]. The sample size of studies ranged from a minimum of 236, a study conducted among youth in Dilla town, Southern Ethiopia [17] to a maximum of 20,434, a nationwide study [18]. A total of 43,695 participants were included in the review. The studies were conducted from 2001 to 2016 in different regions of the country (Table 1 ).
Table 1
Summary characteristics of studies in the meta-analysis to show the prevalence risky sexual behavior in Ethiopia, 2002–2016
S.N
Author, Year
Study design
Year study conducted
Sample size
Study area
Age in years
Response rate
Prevalence (Outcome)
Weakness of the study
1.
(Abebe, Tsion, & Netsanet, 2013)
Institutional based cross sectional study
February 14–28/2012
273
Jimma town
Mean ± SD = 18.6 ± 1.6
Range = 15–24
94.8%
42.1% (Early sexual initiation)
Relatively small sample size
2.
(Abosetugn, Zergaw, Tadesse, & Addisu, 2015)
Community based cross-sectional study design
January, 2012
236
Dilla
Range = 15–24
Not reported
48.3%
(Unprotected sex)
Relatively small sample size
3.
(Alamrew, Bedimo, & Azage, 2013)
Institutional based cross sectional study
March 2012
790
Bahir dar city
Mean ± SD = 21.5 ± 2.44
97.6%
45.3%(Having multiple sexual partners)
Not clearly stated
4.
(Bayissa, Mebrahtu, Bayisa, & Mekuanint, 2016)
Institutional based cross sectional study
April 15 to 24, 2015
328
Ambo University
mean age = 22.18 years
87.9%
20.4% (Early sexual initiation)
Not clearly stated
5.
(BELETE, 2016)
Institutional based cross-sectional study
March to April 2016
388
Addis Ababa University
Median age = 21 years
92%
58.2% (having multiple sexual partners)
Might have under reported by Social desirability bias
6.
(Bogale & Seme, 2014)
Institutional based cross sectional study
December; 2011 to January; 2012
826
Shendi town, West GojjamZone
Mean ± SD = 17 ± 1.4
Range = 15–24
97.1%
24.8%(having multiple sexual partners)
Social desirability bias responding cannot be ruled out
7.
(Cherie & Berhane, 2012)
Institutional based cross-sectional study
2011
3543
Addis Ababa,
Majority were in the age group 15–16 year
92.5%
10.6% RSB
Not clearly stated
8.
(Dadi & Teklu, 2014)
Institutional based cross-sectional study design
February to April 2014
422
Humera town
Mean ± SD = 16.89 ± 1.16
100%
13.7% RSB
Might have social desirability bias
9.
(Dagne, 2013)
Institutional based cross-sectional study
December, 2013 toDecember, 2014
700
Debre Markos town
Mean ± SD = 17.1 ± 1.6 years
Range = 15–24 years
100%
78.8% (Early sexual initiation)
recall bias
10.
(Debebe, 2015)
Institutional based cross-sectional study
February 1–30, 2014
604
Madawalabu University,
Mean ± SD=
21 ± 1.60 years
95.3%
35.2% (having multiple sexual partners)
Personal and sensitive issues related to sexuality which might have caused underreporting of
some behaviors
11.
(Derbie, Assefa, Mekonnen, & Biadglegne, 2016)
Institutional based cross sectional study
February 1- march 30, 2014
343
Debre Tabor University
mean age 21.1 years (SD ±2.3)
87.1%
39.6% (inconsistent condom used)
The study lacks data on the sexual
experiences of students before they join the University
12.
(Desale, Argaw, & Yalew, 2016)
Institutional based cross sectional study
June 2014
1332
Lalibela town
Mean ± SD =17.39 ± 1.63 years
Range = 15–24 years
97.8%
46.5% RSB
Might have underreporting as it is not free from social desirability bias and
a recall bias, especially in estimating age at first sexual experiences.
13.
(Dessie, Berhane, & Worku, 2014)
Community based cross-sectional study
March to July 2012
633
Harar town
Range = 13–18 years
98.75
47.55% RSB
Might have social desirability bias
14.
(Dingeta, Oljira, & Assefa, 2012)
Institutional based cross sectional study
March to April, 2010.
1286
Haramaya University
Mean ± SD = 21.4 ± 1.3
98.9%
28% (Early sexual initiation)
Not clearly stated
15.
(Fite & Cherie, 2016)
Community based cross sectional study
March to June 2014
407
AddisAbaba
Mean ± SD = 16 ± 1.22 years
96.4%
23.6% (Early sexual initiation)
Social desirability bias
16.
(Fury, 2006)
Institutional based cross-sectional study
Jan. 2006 to Feb. 2006
813
Ambo town
Mean ± SD=
17.26 ± 2.1 SD years Range = 10–30 years
96.4%
56.4% (having multiple sexual partners)
recall bias
17.
(G. M. Kassa et al., 2016)
Institutional based cross-sectional study design
April to May 2014
300
Jigaworeda, West Gojjam
Mean ± SD =  17.75 ± 1.37 years
96.8%
56.3% % (Early sexual initiation)
Might have recall bias
18.
(Girma, Hailu, Ayana, & Ketema, 2015)
Institution based cross sectional study
February to March,2014
636
Addis Ababa
Mean ± SD = 17.86 ± 0.97
Range = 15–24
97.85%
25.3%
(Early sexual
initiation)
Not clearly stated
19.
(Gizaw, Jara, & Ketema, 2014)
Institutional based cross sectional study
Apri1.7–25, 2014
836
Addis Ababa
Mean = 17.3
Range = 15–24
99.3%.
26.7% RSB
Response may affected
by social desirability bias
20.
(Guta & Yeshambel, 2016)
Institutional based cross sectional study
April 15 to 24, 2015
328
Ambo University
Mean age = 22.18 years
87.9%
20.4%(Early sexual initiation)
Not clearly stated
21.
(Henok, Kassa, Lenda, Nibret, & Lamaro, 2015)
Institutional based cross-sectional study design
June to July 2014.
284
Mizan-Tepi University
18–23 years (80.3%)
100%
44.5% (having multiple sexual partners)
Relatively small sample size
22.
(Kebede et al., 2005)
DHS based survey
December 2001 and May 2002
20,434
Ethiopia
Range = 15–24 years
91.2%
20% (unprotected sex)
Not clearly stated
23.
(Mulu, Yimer, & Abera, 2014)
Institutional based cross sectional study
December to February2013.
817
Bahir Dar University
mean age = 21 years
Range = 18–30 years
97.1%
62% (Unprotected sex)
Social desirability bias
24.
(Regassa, Chala, & Adeba, 2016)
Institutional based cross-sectional study
February to March 2014
704
Wollega University
median age of respondents was 21 years
99.86%
62.1% (Early sexual initiation)
Not clearly stated
25.
(Seme & Wirtu, 2016)
Institution based cross sectional study
February andMarch 2006
676
Nekemte
Mean = 16 years
93.6%
57.2% (Early sexual initiation)
Not clearly stated
26.
(T. A. Kassa, Luck, Birru, & Riedel-Heller, 2014)
Cross-sectional survey
June toSeptember 2012
426
Addis Ababa
Mean ± SD = 20.8 ± 2.6 years
100%
75. 1% (Early sexual initiation)
Social desirability bias
27.
(Tadesse & Yakob, 2015)
Community based cross-sectional study
September2011
711
Tiss Abay
Mean ± SD = 21.54 ± 3.84 years
Range = 15–29 years
95.9%
70.3% RSB
Not clearly stated
28.
(Teferra, Erena, & Kebede, 2015)
Institutional based cross sectional study
March 1 -may30 2013
302
MadawalabuUniversity
Range = 15–34
93.2%
33.6%(having multiple sexual partners)
Not clearly stated
29.
(Teshome & Gedif, 2013)
Institutional based cross-sectional study design
November to December
2010
2551
Addis Ababa
Mean ± SD = 16.93 ± 1.35
yearsRange = 14–25 years
92.4%)
52.5% RSB
Not clearly stated
30.
(Tiruneh, Wasie, & Gonzalez, 2015)
Community-based cross-sectional study
July 8–18, 2013
756
Metema District
Median age 22 years and IQR = 20–25
100%
74% RSB
Social desirability responding cannot be ruled out
31.
(Tura, Alemseged, & Dejene, 2012)
Institutional based cross-sectional study
November 2009
1010
Jimma University
Mean ± SD = 17.7 ± 2.7 years
80%
28.3%(having multiple sexual partners)
Social desirability bias might result under reported
RSB Risky Sexual Behavior

Prevalence of risky sexual practice in Ethiopia

The highest prevalence of risky sexual practice was reported in a study among in-school youth in Debre Markos town, Northwest Ethiopia. The study showed that 78.8% initiated sex at an early age (< 18 years) [13]. The lowest prevalence of risky sexual practice was 10.6% among school adolescents in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia [19].
As presented in Fig. 2, the I 2 test result showed high heterogeneity (I2=100%), which is indicative of using random effects model. The overall pooled prevalence of risky sexual practice in Ethiopia was 42.8% (95% CI: 35.64%, 49.96%) (Fig. 2 ).

Gender disparity and risky sexual practice

A total of 14 articles with 25,887 participants were included to assess the association of gender and risky sexual practices [1316, 18, 2028]. The findings showed a higher prevalence of risky sexual practice among males (73.24%) compared to females (70.16%). There was a significant association between gender and risky sexual practices. Males were 1.69 times more likely to engage in risky sexual practices compared to females (OR: 1.69, 95% CI: 1.21, 2.37) (Fig. 3 ).

Substance use and risky sexual practice

A total of 16 articles with 26,257 participants were included to identify the association between substance use and risky sexual practices [1316, 18, 2022, 2431]. Substance users were 3.4 times more likely engage in risky sexual practices compared to nonusers (OR: 3.42; 95% CI: 1.41, 8.31) (Fig. 4 ).

Peer pressure and risky sexual practice

Ten articles with a total of 8486 participants were included in the analysis [14, 16, 1922, 24, 25, 29, 32]. Individuals who reported to be influenced by peers for their risky sexual practice were 3.4 times more likely to engage in risky sexual practices (OR: 3.41: 95% CI: 1.69, 6.87) (Fig. 5 ).

Viewing pornography and risky sexual practices

Nine articles with a total of 4585 participants were included in this analysis [13, 16, 20, 21, 24, 2730]. There was a higher prevalence of risky sexual practices among participants who viewed pornography (50.27%) compared to those who did not (27.66%). Risky sexual practices were four times more likely to occur among participants who viewed pornography (OR: 3.6: 95% CI: 2.21, 5.86) (Fig. 6 ).

Discussion

This review was conducted to identify the prevalence of risky sexual practices and its associated factors in Ethiopia. The overall pooled prevalence of risky sexual practice in Ethiopia was 42.8% (95% CI: 35.64%, 49.96%). This finding was lower than the prevalence of risky sexual behavior (75%) demonstrated among male youth in Latin America [37]. The differences in the findings may reflect differences in participants’ characteristics. This review included both male and female participants, while the other study included only male participants. The other possible explanation could be the difference in the age of participants, this review included both adolescents and adults. On the other hand, the prevalence of risky sexual practice in this review was higher than a meta-analysis of high-risk sexual behavior of women in sub-Saharan countries [38]. The difference may be due to the variation in the study population and sociocultural differences, such as the freedom to talk about sexuality, sex out of marriage, multiple sexual partners and others.
The subgroup analysis of gender and risky sexual practice showed that males were 1.69 times more likely to engage in risky sexual practices compared to females. This finding is in line with a global study on risky sexual behavior using data from 59 countries which showed that risky sexual practices were higher among men than women [33]. The higher prevalence of risky sexual practice among men may be due to a higher proportion involved with multiple sexual partners and higher rate of substance use. The Global School-Based Student Health Survey (GSHS) conducted in Trinidad and Tobago showed that men were more likely to engage in premarital and early sex than women [33]. A large-scale study conducted by Mid-western State University reported that men were more likely to engage in risky sexual practice compared to women [39]. Men are also more likely to have multiple sexual partners compared to women [34, 35].
This review showed that substance users were more likely to engage the risky sexual practice. This finding was similar to studies conducted by WHO and UNAIDS in eight countries [36] and a meta-analysis conducted in Latin America [37]. The reason for this could be because alcohol use affects decision making which may lead to risky sexual practice.
This study identified peer pressure as an important predictor of risky sexual practice. This finding is in line with a study in Ghana and a meta-analysis conducted in sub-Saharan Africa [38, 39]. The reason for this may be that people do not want to be different or rejected, and they may engage in risky behaviors because of the pressure from friends; this may especially be true for youth.
This study also indicated that viewing pornography was associated with risky sexual practices. A population-based study in Sweden indicated that boys who viewed pornography were more likely to engage in risky sexual practices [40]. Individuals who viewed or read pornographic materials frequently were more likely to have multiple sexual partners compared to those who did not [41]. This might be due to the impulsive nature of pornographic materials which lead to erotic sex stimulation or risky sexual practices.
This review used a comprehensive search strategy and multiple database searches of both published and unpublished articles. Random effect model was used to address the issues of potential variability across studies. Included articles were restricted to English language only; this is a limitation of the study as it missed studies published in other languages. All studies included were cross sectional which cannot show a cause and effect relationship between risky sexual practice and the characteristics presented.

Conclusion

This systematic review and meta-analysis revealed that the prevalence of risky sexual practice was high in Ethiopia. Being male, substance use, peer pressure and viewing pornographic materials were found to be associated with risky sexual practices. Governments and relevant stakeholders should develop effective programs and interventions to address gender-specific communication and life skills to minimize risky sexual practices. Comprehensive multi-level behavioral interventional programs are needed to reduce peer pressure, substance use and watching pornography and formulating an appropriate strategy to monitor pornography and substance use. The authors recommend large-scale studies to identify other variables which could affect risky sexual practices in the country.

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank all authors of the research paper included in this systematic review and meta-analysis.

Funding

No funding was obtained for this study.

Availability of data and materials

All data pertaining to this study are contained and presented in this document.

Authors’ contributions

AAM involved in the design, selection of articles, data extraction, statistical analysis and manuscript writing. GMK, AKB and GAF also involved in data extraction, analysis and manuscript editing. All authors read and approved the final draft of the manuscript.

Ethics approval and consent to participate

Not applicable.

Consent for publication

Not applicable.

Competing of interest

The authors declare no competing of interest.

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://​creativecommons.​org/​licenses/​by/​4.​0/​), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://​creativecommons.​org/​publicdomain/​zero/​1.​0/​) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Literatur
Über diesen Artikel

Weitere Artikel der Ausgabe 1/2017

Reproductive Health 1/2017 Zur Ausgabe

Neu im Fachgebiet Gynäkologie und Geburtshilfe

Meistgelesene Bücher aus dem Fachgebiet

2014 | Buch

Perikonzeptionelle Frauenheilkunde

Fertilitätserhalt, Prävention und Management von Schwangerschaftsrisiken

Ein Praxisbuch für alle, die in der Beratung und Betreuung von Schwangeren und Paaren mit Kinderwunsch tätig sind. Die Herausgeber und Autoren haben alle wichtigen Informationen zusammengetragen, um Frauen sicher zu beraten, zu betreuen und kompetent Verantwortung zu übernehmen.

Herausgeber:
Christian Gnoth, Peter Mallmann

2019 | Buch

Praxisbuch Gynäkologische Onkologie

Dieses kompakte und praxisrelevante Standardwerk richtet sich alle Ärzte in Klinik und Praxis, die Patientinnen mit bösartigen Tumoren des Genitales und der Mamma behandeln. Die 5. Auflage wurde komplett aktualisiert und auf der Basis …

Herausgeber:
Prof. Dr. Edgar Petru, Dr. Daniel Fink, Prof. Dr. Ossi R. Köchli, Prof. Dr. Sibylle Loibl

Mail Icon II Newsletter

Bestellen Sie unseren kostenlosen Newsletter Update Gynäkologie und bleiben Sie gut informiert – ganz bequem per eMail.

Bildnachweise