MPhil study projects

Factors behind risky sexual behaviour among adolescents aged 18-19 in Geita mine town, Tanzania

Student: Tifare Makwamaya
Country: Zimbabwe

Since Tanzania initiated its HIV/Aids programmes more than two decades ago, HIV/Aids-related fatalities and new infections decreased nationwide. While new infections in adults are decreasing, the same cannot be said for adolescents.

Although no data indicating HIV positivity among pregnant adolescents was available, pregnancies resulting from unprotected sex indicate a high risk of HIV infection. This study aimed to identify the primary drivers of risky sexual behaviour among adolescents by assessing behaviour as well as knowledge of safe sex and HIV/Aids.

The quantitative study used questionnaires and purposive sampling, focusing on students at the town’s Landmark College. Analysis revealed that while most adolescents possess HIV/Aids knowledge, their sexual conduct contradicts this awareness, with early sexual initiation, low condom usage and multiple sexual partners being prevalent.

The study identified various factors influencing the HIV/Aids landscape among Geita’s adolescents, including cultural influences, gender stereotypes, peer pressure, community dynamics, familial influences and economic status. Effective interventions should engage adolescents and mobilise communities to create environments conducive to mitigating such behaviours.