Sexual health seeking behaviours of young people in the Gambia

Miles, K; Shaw, M; Paine, K; Hart, G; Ceesay, S; (2001) Sexual health seeking behaviours of young people in the Gambia. Journal of adolescence (6). pp. 753-764. ISSN 0140-1971 DOI:

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In the Gambia, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and their complications are a major health problem and although the prevalence of HIV-1 in the Gambia is currently low, it is increasing. Relatively little is known about the sexual health treatment-seeking behaviours of young people in West Africa. This information is vital to target resources appropriately. To investigate this concept, twelve single-sex focus group discussions (FGDs), within three rural villages, elicited the views, opinions, attitudes and experiences of 49 young men (mean age 17.4 years; range 15-21) and 48 young women (mean age 18.2 years; range 15-25). The participants talked openly about sexual activity within their peer communities. Six major themes were identified from the FGDs: (1) groups perceived to be at risk of acquiring STIs; (2) STI transmission and classification; (3) treatment-seeking behaviours; (4) barriers to treatment; (5) consequences of non-treatment; and (6) problem resolution strategies. The study concludes that whilst there may be barriers to improving sexual and reproductive health, young people in rural West Africa have enthusiasm for and commitment to finding solutions to the problems that local communities face.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, prevention & control, psychology, Adolescence, Adolescent Behavior, psychology, Adult, Decision Making, Female, Focus Groups, Gambia, Health Promotion, Human, Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice, Male, Questionnaires, Sex Behavior, psychology, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, prevention & control
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Global Health and Development
PubMed ID: 11790055
Web of Science ID: 173384100006


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