Survey reveals worrying trend of early sexual activity among Ugandan youth

Survey reveals worrying trend of early sexual activity among Ugandan youth
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Information from the Demographic health survey compiled by the Uganda bureau of statistics reveals a concerning trend of early sexual activity among Ugandan youth, with both men and women engaging in sex before marriage.

The report finds that the median age at first sexual intercourse is nearly the same for both women and men, indicating that a significant portion of youth are initiating sexual activity before marriage. This trend raises concerns about the potential lack of comprehensive sexual health education, which could leave young people unprepared for the emotional and physical consequences of early sexual activity.

The data also reveals a gender disparity in recent sexual activity among young adults aged 15-19. While 24% of women in this age group report having had recent sexual activity, the figure for men is slightly lower at 18%.

However, a higher percentage of men (16%) report never having had any recent sexual intercourse compared to women (13%). Data collection took place over a 6-month period, from May, 2022 through December 2022.

These figures thus clearly suggest various approaches including comprehensive sexual health education programs in schools to equip young people with the knowledge and skills they need to make informed choices about their sexual health, including men and boys in sexual health education and awareness campaigns to foster more supportive and healthy relationships, while some have suggested ensuring young people have access to affordable and confidential contraception that can help prevent unintended pregnancies and reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

The 2022 demographic health survey is the 7 the in a series after 6 other reports in the years of 1988/89, 1995, 2000-01, 2006,2011 and 2016. The UDHS 2022 was taken from 14 subregions including Westnile, Acholi, Karamoja, Lango, Teso, Bunyoro, Buganda,Bukedi, Busoga, Elgon, Tooro, Ankole, Kigezi and Kampala.

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