Migration and sexual behaviour among youth in Nairobi’s slum areas

  • Kanyiva Muindi African Population and Health Research Center, Nairobi
  • Netsayi Mudege Royal Tropical Institute
  • Donatien Beguy African Population and Health Research Center, Nairobi
  • Blessing U Mberu African Population and Health Research Center, Nairobi
Keywords: Migration, youth, sexual behaviour, slums, Nairobi


Migration remains an important event in the urbanization process. However, research evidence indicates that migration is associated with negative outcomes. For migrant youth, migration often coincides with leaving home and divesting of parental authority and controls. This study investigates migration as a determinant of risky sexual behaviours and the factors influencing the timing of first sex among migrant youth. We used data collected between 2006 and 2008 from youth aged 12-22 years living in two slums in Nairobi. We use Cox proportional hazards model for timing of first sex among migrants and logistic regression for determinants of risky sexual behaviour. Migration is important for number of sexual partners but not for sexual debut. The risk of initiating first sex soon after in-migration is higher for youth with problem behaviour. Among adolescents in Nairobi’s slums, migration is not associated with a higher risk of engaging in risky sexual behaviour. However, youth with problem behaviour face a higher risk of initiating sex soon after migration.