Concomitants of HIV/STD risk behaviours and intention to engage in risk behaviours in adolescents in India

AIDS Care. 1997 Oct;9(5):563-75. doi: 10.1080/713613197.


A total of 1230 year 11 and 12 anglophone college students, modal age 16 and 17, in three colleges in Mumbai (Bombay), India, were studied with regard to sexual behaviours or risk of sexual behaviours, beliefs about sex, HIV/STD knowledge, and perceived norms regarding sexual behaviours. Data indicated that 8% of males and 1% of females had had sexual experience, but over one-third were not sure at all of being able to abstain from sexual activity with either steady or casual partners. However, perceived norms were slanted toward sexual abstinence for the majority of the sample. Knowledge of the protective effects of condoms was high, although half of those who had had sex did not use condoms. Logistic regression showed that knowledge was higher among males, those who believed it was OK to have sex with a steady partner and that they should not wait until they were older, those who believed that condoms should be used even if the partner is known, and those who believed it was acceptable to have multiple partners. Gender differences in sexual activity and beliefs about sexual activity showed that males were less likely to believe in abstaining from sexual activity and to engage in it. We conclude that this age-group is appropriate for HIV/STD reduction education given the low rate of sexual activity but that, despite knowledge of the importance of condom use, the social skills to apply this knowledge are lacking.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior
  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health
  • Condoms / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / psychology*
  • Humans
  • India
  • Male
  • Risk-Taking
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / psychology*