Original Articles

The correlates of safe sex practices among Rwandan youth: a positive deviance approach

Published in: African Journal of AIDS Research
Volume 1, issue 1, 2002, pages: 11–21
DOI: 10.2989/16085906.2002.9626540
Author(s): Stella BabalolaCenter for Communication Programs (JHU/CCP), United States of America, David Awasum, Rwanda, Brigitte Quenum-Renaud, Rwanda


This paper presents the results of a 2001 sample survey and uses an ideation model to identify the factors affecting primary sexual abstinence and condom use among Rwandan youth. The findings showed that urban residence and age negatively influence primary sexual abstinence and positively affect condom use. Living within the same household as the father tends to protect girls from early sexual experimentation but has no noticeable effect on boys. Moslems are considerably less likely than Christians to report primary sexual abstinence. The use of alcohol tends to be negatively associated with sexual abstinence. The ideational factors that are significant for primary sexual abstinence are perceptions about the sexual behaviours of peers, perceived self-efficacy to refuse sex with someone truly loved, perceived self-efficacy to refuse sex with someone known for more than three months, self-esteem and attitudes toward premarital sex. As for condom use, the ideational variables with significant independent effects on the behavior are: discussion of HIV/AIDS with sexual partner, and to a lesser extent, the perceived self-efficacy to use condoms, and discussion of condom use with the sex partner. The programmatic and policy implications of the results are discussed.

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