Health Risk Behaviour among Adolescents Living with HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Systematic Review a
Updated: Apr 28, 2020
Health risk behaviour (HRB) is a major concern in the prevention and management of HIV Such behaviour is often initiated or reinforced during adolescence. The main forms of HRB include sexual behaviour contributing to unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, alcohol, tobacco and drug use, unhealthy dietary habits, inadequate physical activity, and behaviour that contributes to unintentional injury or violence. Increased propensity for risk taking is a common phenomenon during adolescence. Adolescents living with HIV are vulnerable. They encounter various adverse impacts following their engagement in HRBs.
A number of studies conducted among sexually active adolescents living with HIV report that about a half have early sexual debut and unprotected sexual intercourse. Other studies have reported that adolescents living with HIV (ALWHIV) engage in various HRBs such as transactional sex, that is, sexual intercourse in exchange for material benefit or status, alcohol abuse, and drug use. This is problematic for persons living with HIV, because such behaviour underlies suboptimal health outcomes such as poor adherence to antiretroviral treatment, HIV coinfection, injury, and mortality. Furthermore, this behaviour adversely impacts the socioeconomic welfare of affected families.