Protection before the harm: The case of condom use at the onset of premarital

  • Blessing Uchenna Mberu African Population and Health Research Center Nairobi, Kenya
Keywords: Condom use, Protective behavior, Premarital sexual debut, Youth


Condom protection has been linked to HIV decline, but the goal to prevent infections before any harm informs this focus on condom use at premarital sexual debut. The study builds on the proposition that condom use at first intercourse is an immediate indicator of the risks associated with the encounter and the propensity of subsequent condom use consistently and regularly. Data from the 2003 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey and binary logistic regression models were utilized to examine the predictors of condom use at premarital sexual debut among Nigerian youths aged 15-24. The analysis identified significant independent effects of age at sexual debut, living arrangements, level of education, and household economic status, with the strongest effect linked to ethnic origin. The findings underscore the complexity of socio-cultural contexts that influence sexual behavior across groups within one country, and the importance of a multi-factor policy perspective for effective behavior interventions.