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Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


While on the street, HIV infection among street-connected children is a challenging issue due to the nature of transmission, distribution, and prevention. Lack of proper care and protection, insufficient knowledge of the danger of acquiring HIV, and insufficient or absence of health facilities serving street-connected children have left this vulnerable group engaging in high-risk behaviors exposing them to acquiring HIV. This cross-sectional study aimed at estimating the prevalence of HIV infection and its associated risk factors among street-connected children aged between 10 to17 years in Mwanza City. The study was granted ethical clearance all permissions and restrictions to work with street-connected children were adhered to. A total of 131 participants aged 10-17 years were recruited for interviews and HIV testing. Exact logistic regression was used to determine factors associated with having HIV. A total of 111 (85.0%) boys and 20 (15.0%) girls responded to the questionnaire, with the median age being 15years. The overall HIV prevalence was 12.2% (16/131). Street-children using condoms were less likely to be affected by HIV compared to those who were not using (OR = 0.24; 95% CI 0.04-0.97). Females had higher odds of HIV infection compared to males (OR = 5.24; 95% CI of 1.24-24.65). The study shows a significantly higher prevalence of HIV among street-connected children as compared to the general population. Therefore, there should be tailored reproductive and sexual health programs, with the provision of protective materials like condoms.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

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