Prevalence and associated factors of risky sexual behaviors among undergraduate students in state universities of Western Province in Sri Lanka: a descriptive cross sectional study

Posted by Caitlin C McCollow on June 13, 2018 at 3:28 pm



Risky sexual behaviors (RSB) are becoming an important problem all over the world. RSB are defined as behaviors leading to sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancies. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence and associated factors of RSB among undergraduate students in state universities of Western Province in Sri Lanka.


A descriptive cross sectional study was conducted on1575 second and third year undergraduates using stratified cluster sampling of the selected universities. A pretested self-administered questionnaire was used to assess socio-demographic, knowledge attitudes and behavior on reproductive health. RSB was defined as reporting of one or more following behavior/s; having more than one sexual partner, use of alcohol or inability to use condom or other contraceptive methods in sexual activities. The results were expressed as prevalence and its 95% confidence interval (CI) of RSB. Multiple logistic regression was performed ascertain the association between RSB and possible associated factors. The results were expressed as adjusted odds ratios (AOR).


Prevalence of RSB in last 1 year and 3 months periods were 12.4%, (95% CI: 11.8–13.1) and 12.1% (95% CI: 11.5–12.7) respectively. The significantly associated risk factors for RSB were, attended night clubs in last month (AOR = 3.58, 95% CI: 1.29–9.88), alcohol consumption within last 3 months (AOR = 2.67, 95% CI: 1.87–3.80) and good knowledge on condoms (AOR = 2.82, 95% CI: 1.94–4.10). Those who thought religion was very important to their lives (AOR = 0.68, 95% CI: 0.48–0.95) was a protective factor.


Alcohol consumption and attending night clubs were associated with RSB. Necessary measures should be taken to reduce risk behaviors within university to reduce RSB.

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