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TimesLIVE timeslive.co.za 25 Nov, 2021 06:45 am

are risk factors for unplanned pregnancies: study

“Predictors of adverse sexual and reproductive health outcomes among young women identified in this study are important in developing required interventions and policies to halt its continuous increase," researchers say.

According to a review of nine studies which mapped the predictors of adverse sexual and reproductive health outcomes among young women over the last 20 years, physical and sexual abuse were identified as key predictors of unintended pregnancies, while being HIV-positive was associated with human papillomavirus (HPV) infections.The findings also indicated that young women between the age of 20—24 years, those with less education and those residing in urban areas were more likely to report being infected with HIV compared to their counterparts in rural areas.They argue that that this might be due to the high prevalence of early sexual debut among young women.Sexually transmitted infections and HIV prevalence have also been higher among young SA women, with about 10% STI and 21% HIV prevalence.

They said the results from this review could shape the direction of policymakers in developing targeted interventions “that will address the adverse sexual and reproductive health outcomes among young women in SA, as no study in SA has been able to underscore this”.“We found that higher educational attainment, not living together with a spouse, residing in the KwaZulu-Natal province and having a regular partner were predictors of unintended pregnancy among young women in SA.

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