Perceptions about risky sexual behaviours among in-school rural youth in Makueni District, Kenya
Kyalo, Peter Musyoka
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This was a qualitative study which sought to find out the perceptions about risky sexual behaviours among in- school rural youth in Makueni district, Kenya. The key methods of data : collection employed were desktop research, in-depth interviews, Focus Group Discussions and . observations. As it is the case with the qualitative research paradigm, this study did not have a predetermined sample size as the major consideration in such studies is the quality of the information collected and not the number of people interviewed. Purposive sampling was employed to choose the study site after which institutions for the study were picked through convenience sampling. Once the institutions had been selected, purposive sampling was again used to draw individual respondents for the study. Data was analyzed through the use of a wide of qualitative data analysis techniques like thematic analysis, narrative analysis, discourse range and constant comparative analysis . One of the key findings of this study was that knowledge of sexual health risks was high among in-school youth in different classes. With the exception of a very minor percentage, the majority of the students knew they were vulnerable to HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted Illnesses such as syphilis and gonorrhea as well as getting pregnant for the girls. The study also found out that a great number of students were adequately informed on the possible and effective ways of dealing with the sexual health risks affecting them. Despite the high levels of knowledge of ways of protecting one against HIV and/or STIs infections, the study found out some students still engaged in unprotected sex for various reasons. The study also found out that parents ranked as the most important persons students would seek advice from in the event of contracting HIV/AIDS. Friends seem to be the next important group of people followed by teachers. Such high levels of awareness about risky sexual health behaviors among in-school youth a rural setting like Wote Division is welcome. However, more still needs to be done by scaling up a comprehensive sexuality education that goes beyond HIV / AIDS knowledge - Adolescents will benefit more from comprehensive sexual and reproductive health education programs that address multiple risk factors than from prevention efforts that aim to increase awareness alone. The programs should also address the challenge of non-use of condoms and risk perception among sexually active adolescents, and equip young people with the necessary interpersonal skills to enable them make responsible choices about their sexual health. Two, Parents should playa greater role in protecting adolescents from risky sexual behaviors. Programs that sensitize parents to playa greater role in advising as well as shaping the sexual values and behaviors of their adolescent children are likely to increase responsible sexual decisions and behaviors among young people. Lastly, Sexual health campaigns addressing risky sexual behaviors for young people should also be introduced in schools Such campaigns should address risky behaviors such as alcohol consumption, drug use, and cigarette smoking.