The pursuit of bright futures : delayed sexual debut, declining HIV prevalence, and the social construction of sexual attitudes, values, and norms among adolescents in Uganda Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/d217qs221

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  • Uganda has experienced the largest decline of HIV prevalence of any country in the world, from a peak of 15% in 1991 to 5% today. In cooperation with community-based and faith-based organizations, the Ugandan government has pursued an AIDS prevention strategy centered on urging people to Abstain from sex, Be faithful to one partner, or use Condoms (the so-called ABC model). It is believed that the large drop in AIDS prevalence has been due to behavior change, especially reduction of number of sexual partners among adults and abstinence and delayed sexual debut among youth. The purpose of this study was to conduct a qualitative investigation of Ugandan adolescent's attitudes and values towards relationships and sexuality, and the ways in which their social environment sends messages and creates perceived norms which shape sexual behavior, especially the behavior of abstinence. Focus groups were conducted with youth between the ages of 13 and 16 years in the districts of Soroti and Masaka. Youth discussed reasons for having relationships, both platonic and sexual; the benefits and risks of relationships; the proper age for boys and girls to initiate sexual relationships; messages they have received regarding sexuality and perceptions of family, peer, and community norms; and values regarding ideal sexual behavior. Youth expressed that the right age to begin having sex is 18 years and above, so that sex does not interfere with education and cause other adverse consequences such as early pregnancy, family strife, and infection with HIV/AIDS.
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