Sexual risk taking behaviours among elite unmarried sexually experienced females in Tehran

Farideh Khalaj Abadi Farahani, Shahid Beheshti University
John G. Cleland, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)

Purpose: This study evaluates the extent and potential correlates of sexual risk-taking behaviours among female college students in Tehran.Method: Data were collected from a mixed method study among female college students of four multidisciplinary universities during 2005-6 in Tehran, Iran. Of 1744 subjects, 282 (24%)reported any type of sex. Sexual risk-taking behaviours comprised “not using condom in either first sex or last sex” and “having multiple lifetime sexual partners”. Several other factors were considered as independent variables and their relations were assessed using Chi-square test, and logistic regression models.Results: Among 282 sexually experienced girls, only 7% had experienced vaginal coitus and others were involved in either anal, oral sex or sex by touch and also a mixture of non-vaginal sexual practices. The majority of sexually experienced girls reported that their partner did not use condom because of practicing non-vaginal coitus. HIV and STDs transmission were widely perceived to be only associated with vaginal penetrative sex . About two-thirds of those who had vaginal coitus did not use condom at first sex and more than one-third did not use condom at last sex. Almost half of the study subjects reported three or more life time sexual partners (47.2%). Condom use was only based on the men’s decision and preparedness. Finally, type of sex was major determinants of condom use at first or last sex. Regret after first sex, coercion and female’s lower power in relationship were predictors of condom non-use at first sex. Age at first sex and smoking were correlates of multiple sexual partners.Conclusion: In-depth knowledge of HIV and STDs transmission by different types of sex should be provided to young people. Young people should be enabled to avoid unwanted sex and delay their first sex.

Presented in Poster Session 3