Mental health, childhood abuse and HIV sexual risk behaviour among university students in Ivory Coast

SOURCE: Annals of General Psychiatry
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2013
TITLE AUTHOR(S): K.Peltzer, S.Pengpid, I.Tiembre
KEYWORDS: ALCOHOL ABUSE, HIV/AIDS, IVORY COAST, MENTAL HEALTH, PARTNER VIOLENCE, RISK BEHAVIOUR, UNIVERSITY STUDENTS
DEPARTMENT: Human and Social Capabilities (HSC)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 7776

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Abstract

Little focus has been paid to the role of poor mental health and childhood abuse among young people with regard to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) risk behaviour and HIV prevention in Africa. The aim of this study was to determine the association between mental health, childhood abuse and HIV sexual risk behaviour among a sample of university students in Ivory Coast. A cross-sectional survey was conducted with undergraduate students that were recruited randomly from classes at the Felix Houphouet Boigny University of Cocody. The sample included 824 university students (50% men and 50% women), with a mean age of 23.7 years (SD = 2.7). Of the 824 university students who completed the survey, 17.6% reported depression, 10.8% screened positive for post-traumatic stress disorder, 8.3% reported at least monthly heavy episodic drinking, 13.5% reported childhood physical abuse and 4.7% sexual abuse, 33.9% had two or more sexual partners in the past 12 months, 66.3% had inconsistent condom use, 23.6% had alcohol use in the context of sex and 16.7% had a history of a sexually transmitted infection. In multivariable analysis among men, lack of religiousness and alcohol use in the context of sex were associated with HIV risk behaviour, and among women, poorer family background, experience of sexual and physical partner violence, alcohol use in the context of sex and depression were associated with HIV risk behaviour. Poor mental health (depression) including alcohol use and partner violence was found to be associated with HIV risk behaviour. Coordinated mental health and sexual and reproductive health services to meet the needs of university students would be desirable.