Sexual and reproductive health issues of youths on the streets in Zimbabwe: the case of Harare Central Business District

Henry N Chikova, Rumbidzai J Chikova

Abstract


Background: Youths living on the streets of Harare engage in risky sexual behaviours, which exposes them to sexually transmitted diseases, yet they do not have adequate access to Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) services. The study investigated sexual and reproductive health issues among youths on the streets of Harare’s Central Business District. 

Data and methods: The study interviewed 202 youths and had components of of in-depth interviews and Focus Group Discussions.

Findings: Almost all youths had engaged in sex and had debuted at very young ages. Educational attainment was associated with current sexual activity; so was contraceptive use with drug use and alcohol consumption. Alcohol exposed youths to prenancy. Unsafe abortions were common among female youths - half had suffered an STI. Youths abused drugs and alcohol. Street youths had poor access to SRH services.

Conclusion: Government should extend sexual education to street youths, keep them in school and make SRH services easily accessible to them.


Keywords


Youths, Streets, Sexual and Reproductive Health, sexual behaviour, Sexually transmitted diseases, alcohol and drugs.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11564/33-2-1425

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