Young people who lack HIV-related knowledge are vulnerable to sexual risk behaviors (SRBs), which could lead to HIV infection. Men have a greater intention of engaging in unsafe sexual practices and are more likely to have more sexual partners, use paid sex services, and use condoms inconsistently than women. We aimed to assess the trend of HIV-SRB and its determinants among Cambodian male youth aged 15-24 years old.
We used data from the Cambodia Demographic and Health Surveys (CDHS) with total samples of 2884 (CDHS 2005), 3265 (CDHS 2010), and 1760 (CDHS 2014) in young men aged 15-24 years old. Sampling weight was used to compensate for the two-stage stratified cluster sampling. Multiple logistic regression was used to determine the main predictors of HIV-SRB.
Overall, more than one-fifth (22%) of young men reported being sexually active across CDHS surveys. Young men reported a significant decline in HIV-SRB from 2005 (17.5%) to 2010 (9.5%), then leveling off at 9.3% in 2014. Determinants of HIV-SRB were more likely to be unmarried (AOR=4.8, 95% CI: 2.8–8.4), be in the rich wealth quintile (AOR=2.0, 95% CI: 1.3–3.3), and having a history of mobility in the past 12 months (AOR=2.4, 95% CI: 1.5–3.8). Youths who reported a more discriminatory attitude toward HIV patients were less likely to have HIV-SRB (AOR=0.7, 95% CI: 0.5–0.9).
The trend of HIV-SRB declined from 2005 to 2010 and was stable between 2010 and 2014. Determinants of HIV-SRB among young men were associated with being nonmarried, being in a better economic status, and having a history of mobility. Interestingly, the discriminatory attitude toward HIV patients was associated with the reduction of HIV-SRB. Program interventions on male youth should be prioritized based on these determinants given the limited budget and youth program priorities. Future studies should further explore the trend of HIV-SRB and discriminatory attitudes toward PLHIV when CDHS 2022 data are available.