Kebede Embaye Gezae Letekirstos Gebreegziabher Gebretsadik Haftom Temesgen Abebe Hagazi Gebre Meles Meseret Abay Fisseha Assefa Ayalew G/silasse Eyerusalem Atakilti Gebremedhin Arsema Samson Yetbarek


Background: Unsafe sex is ranked second among the top ten risk factors to health that may lead to Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), unplanned pregnancy and/or unsafe abortion. Despite the high burden of unsafe sex practices in Ethiopia, little was known on reasons and associated factors in the study setting in particular.

Objective: To examine unsafe sex practice and its associated factors among regular undergraduate students of Mekelle University, Ethiopia, 2019.

Methods: a facility based cross-sectional study design was conducted among randomly selected 797 regular under graduate students of Mekelle University using the multistage sampling design. A multiple logit model was fitted to identify factors associated with unsafe sex practice. Finally, Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR) was estimated and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were used for statistical decision.

Main findings: Overall, approximately 44% of the participants who had sex in the last 12 months practiced unsafe sex. Major reasons to have had unsafe sex were - for fun, lack of awareness, trusting sexual partners and no access to use condom. Dormitory living condition (AOR = 0.44; 95% CI: 0.20 – 0.99) and taking course on Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) (AOR =0.49; 95% CI: 0.28 – 0.85) had protective effect against unsafe sex practice.

Conclusion: The unsafe sex practice was significantly high in the current study. Thus, comprehensive information and education on SRH has to be implemented by the University to prevent unsafe sex practices associated bad consequences among the students.




Condom use, Mekelle University, Multiple partners, Reasons, Unsafe sex practice.

1. Dimbuene ZT, Emina JB, Sankoh O. UNAIDS ‘multiple sexual partners’ core indicator: promoting sexual networks to reduce potential biases. Global health action. 2014;7(1):23103.
2. Hall PA, Holmqvist M, Sherry SB. Risky adolescent sexual behavior: A psychological perspective for primary care clinicians. Topics in Advance Practice Nursing Journal. 2004;1.
3. Zhao Q, Mao Y, Sun M, Li X. Sexual risk behaviours and correlates of condom use with casual sex partners among drug users in Jiangsu, China. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy. 2018 :1-7.
4. Crossette B, Kollodge R. State of world population 2011-People and possibilities in a world of 7 billion. New York, 2011.
5. Jenny Nicholson MS. Student,“Risky Sexual Behaviour among Adolescents and Young Adults,” University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, 2012.
6. World Health Organization. The world health report 2002: reducing risks, promoting healthy life. World Health Organization; 2002.
7. Global HIV/AIDS statistics–2018 fact sheet. UNAIDS, 2019.
8. Deyessa N, Tesfaye G. Intention to use condom among students in Agena preparatory school, Guraghe Zone, Ethiopia: with the application of health believe model. Archives of public health. 2013;71(1):23
9. Gavin L, Galavotti C, Dube H, McNaghten AD, Murwirwa M, Khan R, Louis MS. Factors associated with HIV infection in adolescent females in Zimbabwe. Journal of Adolescent Health. 2006;39(4):596-e11.
10. Chapman R, White RG, Shafer LA, Pettifor A, Mugurungi O, Ross D, Pascoe S, Cowan FM, Grosskurth H, Buve A, Hayes RJ. Do behavioural differences help to explain variations in HIV prevalence in adolescents in sub‐Saharan Africa?. Tropical Medicine & International Health. 2010;15(5):554-66.
11. Tura G, Alemseged F, Dejene S. Risky sexual behavior and predisposing factors among students of Jimma University, Ethiopia. Ethiopian journal of health sciences. 2012;22(3).
12. UNICEF. Investing in our future: A framework for accelerating action for the sexual and reproductive health of young people. World Health Organization;2006.
13. Lanre O. Sexual behaviour of university students in South west Nigeria. 2019.
14. Shiferaw K, Getahun F, Asres G. Assessment of adolescents’ communication on sexual and reproductive health matters with parents and associated factors among secondary and preparatory schools’ students in Debremarkos town, North West Ethiopia. Reproductive health. 2014 Dec;11(1):2.
15. Federal HI, Prevention AI. Control Office (FHAPCO): Multi-sectoral HIV. AIDS response: annual monitoring and evaluation report. 2008.
16. Bogale A, Seme A. Premarital sexual practices and its predictors among in-school youths of shendi town, west Gojjam zone, North Western Ethiopia. Reproductive health. 2014;11(1):49.
17. Shore H, Shunu A. Risky sexual behavior and associated factors among youth in Haramaya Secondary and Preparatory School, East Ethiopia, 2015. Journal of Public Health and Epidemiology. 2017; 9(4):84-91.
18. Yared A, Sahile Z, Mekuria M. Sexual and reproductive health experience, knowledge and problems among university students in Ambo, central Ethiopia. Reproductive health. 2017; 14(1):41.
19. Dadi AF, Teklu FG. Risky sexual behavior and associated factors among grade 9–12 students in Humera secondary school, western zone of Tigray, NW Ethiopia, 2014. Science Journal of Public Health. 2014; 2(5):410-6.
20. Kebede A, Molla B, Gerensea H. Assessment of risky sexual behavior and practice among Aksum University students, Shire Campus, Shire Town, Tigray, Ethiopia, 2017. BMC research notes. 2018;11(1):88.
21. Negeri EL. Assessment of risky sexual behaviors and risk perception among youths in Western Ethiopia: the influences of family and peers: a comparative cross-sectional study. BMC Public Health. 2014;14(1):301.
22. Ware E, Tura G, Alemu T, Andarge E. Disparities in risky sexual behavior among khat chewer and non-chewer college students in Southern Ethiopia: a comparative cross-sectional study. BMC public health. 2018; 18(1):558.
23. Muche AA, Kassa GM, Berhe AK, Fekadu GA. Prevalence and determinants of risky sexual practice in Ethiopia: Systematic review and Meta-analysis. Reproductive health. 2017;14(1):113.
24. Derbie A, Assefa M, Mekonnen D, Biadglegne F. Risky sexual behaviour and associated factors among students of Debre Tabor University, Northwest Ethiopia: a cross-sectional study. Ethiopian Journal of Health Development. 2016; 30(1):11-8.
25. Imaledo JA, Peter-Kio OB, Asuquo EO. Pattern of risky sexual behavior and associated factors among undergraduate students of the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria. Pan African Medical Journal. 2012;12(1).
26. Mulu W, Yimer M, Abera B. Sexual behaviours and associated factors among students at Bahir Dar University: a cross sectional study. Reproductive health. 2014;11(1):84.
27. Perera UA, Abeysena C. Prevalence and associated factors of risky sexual behaviors among undergraduate students in state universities of Western Province in Sri Lanka: a descriptive cross sectional study. Reproductive health. 2018;15(1):105.
28. Alamrew Z, Bedimo M, Azage M. Risky sexual practices and associated factors for HIV/AIDS infection among private college students in Bahir Dar City, Northwest Ethiopia. ISRN Public Health. 2013; 2013.
29. Agajie M, Belachew T, Tilahun T, Amentie M. Risky sexual behavior and associated factors among high school youth in Pawe Woreda, Benishangul Gumuz Region. Science Journal of Clinical Medicine. 2015;4(4):67-75.
30. World Health Organization. The importance of sexual and reproductive health and rights to prevent HIV in adolescent girls and young women in eastern and southern Africa, 2017.
31. Fonner VA, Armstrong KS, Kennedy CE, O'Reilly KR, Sweat MD. School based sex education and HIV prevention in low-and middle-income countries: a systematic review and meta-analysis. PloS one. 2014; 9(3): e89692.
32. Women UN, UNICEF. International technical guidance on sexuality education: an evidence-informed approach. UNESCO Publishing; 2018 Jan 15.
Original Articles

DB Error: Unknown column 'Array' in 'where clause'