Exploring Health Behaviors in Ugandan Adolescents Living in Rural Fishing Communities (2020)

Adolescents in rural Uganda face unique opportunities and challenges to their health. The primary goal of this exploratory cross-sectional survey study was to describe the health behaviors of adolescents of age 13–19 living in four Ugandan fishing communities as a foundation for developing programs to reduce risky health behaviors and HIV/AIDS transmission. The majority of boys (59.6%) and one third of girls reported lifetime sexual intercourse; girls reported earlier sexual debut than boys, as well as higher rates of sexual assault, rape, and/or coerced intercourse. Sexually active youth were more likely to have viewed pornography, be tested for other sexually transmitted infections, and attend boarding schools. Alcohol use was prevalent among both sexes; however, the use of other substances was infrequently reported. Since the majority of adolescents in Uganda attend boarding school, there is an opportunity to expand the school nurse scope of care to include health promotion education and counseling.