Factors associated with inconsistent condom use in adolescents with negative or unknown HIV status in Northwest Cameroon
Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the association between utilization of HIV testing and condom use amongst Cameroonian youths/adolescents who are not known to be HIV-infected. Worldwide, HIV is spreading most quickly amongst youths/adolescents. Between 44% and 82% of sexually active youths in Cameroon report inconsistent condom use. Data regarding utilization of HIV testing and condom use are lacking. A cross-sectional survey was administered to 431 youths ages 12-26 years in Cameroon from September 2011 to December 2011. Data on sociodemographics, sexual risk behaviors, self-reported HIV status, and condom use were collected. We compared rates of inconsistent condom use between those with known HIV negative status who utilized testing (HIV-N) and those with unknown status due to unutilized testing (HIV-U). Inconsistent condom use was defined as responding "never," "sometimes," or "usually," while consistent condom use was defined as responding "always" to questions regarding frequency of condom use. Generalized estimating equations were applied to assess the association between HIV testing and inconsistent condom use, adjusting for other confounders. Of 414 eligible respondents, 205 were HIV-U and 209 were HIV-N. HIV-U subjects were younger (mean age = 16.4 vs. 17.9, p < 0.001) and more likely to report living in an urban area (p = 0.002) than HIV-N subjects. Seventy-two percent (137/191) of sexually active youths reported inconsistent condom use. After adjusting for potential confounders, HIV-U status (odds ratio [OR] = 3.97, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.68-6.01) was associated with inconsistent condom use. Similarly, female gender (OR = 3.2, 95% CI = 1.29-7.89) was associated with inconsistent condom use, while older age at sexual debut was associated with a decreased risk for inconsistent condom use (OR = 0.67, 95% CI = 0.56-0.81). Cameroonian adolescents report high rates of inconsistent condom use which we found to be associated with self-reported unknown HIV status due to unutilized HIV testing. Successful HIV prevention programs among African youths/adolescents may benefit from expanded HIV testing programs.