Household HIV/AIDS status and sexual debut among adolescents in Kenya

Monica A. Magadi, City University London

This paper examines the effect of parents’ HIV status on sexual debut among adolescents in Kenya. The analysis is based on logistic regression analysis applied to the sample of never-married adolescents aged 15-17 years from 2003 and 2008 Kenya DHS. The results provide evidence of increased vulnerability among adolescents in households where an adult is infected with HIV, especially when other household factors are controlled for. On average, adolescent boys and girls in households where at least one adult is infected with HIV have 50-60% higher odds of having initiated sexual activity compared to their counterparts of similar age and gender in households where no adult is HIV-positive. Further analysis reveals that the observed vulnerability among adolescents living in households with HIV infected adults is partly explained by background factors relating to region of residence and ethnicity and to a lesser extent by school non-attendance and mass media exposure.

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Presented in Session 131: Sexual behavior among youth