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Document Type
Working Papers
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Recommended Citation
Maonga, Beston B., Tapiwa Sphiwe Gondwe, and Kennedy Machira. 2018. Determinants of Risky Sexual Behavior among the Youth in Malawi. DHS Working Paper No. 141. Rockville, Maryland, USA: ICF.
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Publication Date
June 2018
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Generally, men of reproductive age in Malawi continue to be vulnerable to new HIV and AIDS infection and re-infection due to risky sexual behavior, including having sexual intercourse with multiple non-marital, non- cohabiting sexual partners and not using condoms with them. With a sample of 7,478 men age 15-54 drawn from the 2015-16 Malawi Demographic and Health Survey (MDHS), this study examines determinants of risky sexual practices among men in Malawi. The study considers risky sexual behavior as having multiple non-marital, non-cohabiting sexual partners and not using condoms during sexual intercourse with these partners. This risky behavior can have serious health consequences and carries medium-to-long-term health and socioeconomic implications for the youth of Malawi. The study examines male youth age 15- 24 and adults age 25-54 who had sexual intercourse in the past 12 months preceding the 2015-16 MDHS, by their marital status. Negative binomial and logistic regression analysis was used to identify determinants associated with their risky sexual behavior. The study found that religion was a key factor associated with having an increased number of non-marital, non-cohabiting sexual partners. Also, attainment of formal education was a consistent predictor that significantly reduced men’s high-risk sexual behavior. Thus, education serves as the most important tool to facilitate behavior change among men in Malawi. Based on the findings, this study proposes redesigning and implementing extensive pro-men sexual and reproductive health educational campaigns to tackle key health and demographic topics aimed at changing men’s attitudes and behavior toward engaging in sexual intercourse with multiple non-marital non- cohabiting partners and toward consistent and correct condom use. Such education campaigns must cut across the social fabric of Malawi’s society, including religious institutions.


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