This thesis explores three topics concerning youth in Kenya: their knowledge and information needs regarding sexual and reproductive health including HIV/AIDS; their sexual risk behaviour; and HIV prevention efforts targeted at them. The data on which these studies are based were collected in Kenya during 1999-2004. The studies were conducted in collaboration with several institutions including the Population Council in Nairobi, Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, SOMA-Net in Nairobi, Erasmus MC in Rotterdam, and NUFFIC in The Hague. The studies that are described in this thesis fill gaps in knowledge concerning risk factors that are crucial in the spread of STI/HIV, but have received little attention in the literature. Despite a growing interest in adolescent health, much remains unknown about the factors that enhance sexual risk among young people. For example, why are HIV rates in Kenya so high among young people and especially young women? Few studies have focussed on the ways in which dominant norms and youth culture place young people’s sexual health at risk. Understanding the way in which young people grow into adulthood, requires exploration of social situations and relations. Knowledge of these aspects can help to develop prevention strategies to control the spread of HIV/AIDS. This thesis aims to provide insight and knowledge that is essential for all parties involved in policies and programs on sexual and reproductive health education in Kenya, and aims to assist in identifying effective strategies. This introductory chapter provides the demographic, socio-cultural and economic background. The chapter ends with the research questions and an outline of the thesis.

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J.D.F. Habbema (Dik)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus MC Rotterdam, NUFFIC
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Njue, C.W. (2011, December 13). Sexual Behavior and HIV Risk in Kenya: Epowering Youth in HIV Prevention. Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from