Gender and Race Differences in Sexually Risky Behavior of Guyanese Adolescents

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 15:45
Oral Presentation
Sasha DRUMMOND-LEWIS, University of Michigan-Flint, USA
Brenda GILL, Alabama State University, USA
The past decade has seen decreased rates of HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean region yet the Caribbean continues to be second in prevalence of HIV/AIDS cases globally (UNAIDS, 2017). Increases made in education about sexually transmitted diseases have lowered overall numbers of deaths related to HIV and AIDS in the Caribbean, nonetheless, there is an increase in prevalence among women and girls in the region. Activities such as early age of sexual activity, sex with multiple partners, and engagement in risky sexual behaviors increases the chances of exposure to HIV/AIDS, especially for adolescents. This paper explores the differences between male and female adolescents’ engagement in risky sexual behavior. The paper used data collected from 2,499 randomly selected Guyanese adolescents from grades 10-12 who were surveyed. Males and females are compared by age, race and religion on their likelihood of engaging in behaviors such as drinking before intercourse, taking drugs prior to engaging in sexual intercourse, and failure to use a form of birth control during sexual intercourse. Findings reveal that … This study contributes to the discussion of health and wellness among Caribbean adolescents. More specifically, it provides empirical baseline data that may be used to further the discussion of adolescent health and well-being in Guyana and the creation of Comprehensive national policy or strategy to address adolescent health and wellbeing. The findings may also be used to provide knowledge about the plight of women and girls so that specific intervention and prevention strategies may be discussed and enacted to improve their health outcomes.