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Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research article

Association of Khat and alcohol use with HIV infection and age at first sexual initiation among youths visiting HIV testing and counseling centers in Gamo-Gofa Zone, South West Ethiopia

Marelign Tilahun Malaju* and Gistane Ayele Asale

Author Affiliations

Department of Public Health, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Arba-Minch University, P.O. Box: 21, Arba-Minch, Ethiopia

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BMC International Health and Human Rights 2013, 13:10  doi:10.1186/1472-698X-13-10

Published: 2 February 2013



HIV/AIDS is the major problem and an obstacle to both the health and development of people in Ethiopia today. It is also indicated that the use of substances have dramatically increased despite the serious concern about HIV infection.


Unmatched case control study was conducted in South West Ethiopia using a sample of 105 cases and 305 controls. Multivariate logistic regression was used to assess the degree of association between dependent and independent variables.


HIV infection was positively associated with being in the age of 20 – 24 years [OR & (95% CI) = 2.892 (1.266, 6.607)], being female [OR & (95% CI) = 2.013 (1.061, 3.822)], alcohol use [OR & (95% CI) = 5.883 (3.034, 11.408)], having no education [OR & (95% CI) = 3.193 (1.523, 6.695)] and primary education level [OR & (95% CI) = 3.160 (1.351, 7.388)]. Early sexual initiation was also positively associated with being not employed Adj. HR & (95% CI) = 7.372 (1.455, 37.357)], not having comprehensive knowledge on HIV/AIDS [Adj. HR & (95% CI) = 8.247 (2.121, 32.067)], alcohol use [Adj. HR & (95% CI) = 3.815 (1.315, 11.070)] and khat use [Adj. HR & (95% CI) = 7.241 (1.871, 28.016)].


Strategies should be designed to control the use of alcohol and khat which were found to be predictors of HIV infection and early sexual initiation in this study.