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Food Insecurity and Engagement in Transactional Sex Among Female Secondary Students in Rwanda.

  • Izudi, Jonathan
  • Gatare, Emmyson
  • Packel, Laura
  • Kayitesi, Laetitia
  • Sayinzoga, Felix
  • Hope, Rebecca
  • McCoy, Sandra
  • Sheira, Lila
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2024
eScholarship - University of California
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The relationship between food insecurity and transactional sex is well recognized, but less is known about this relationship among adolescents. We analyzed cross-sectional baseline data from 3,130 female secondary students aged 12-19 enrolled in a three-arm, cluster randomized controlled trial to examine the association between food insecurity and transactional sex. The explanatory variable was food security and the outcome was ever engaging in transactional sex. Over one quarter (28.7%) reported any food insecurity and 1.9% of all participants (9.6% of sexually active participants) reported ever engaging in transactional sex. In adjusted models, ever experiencing any food insecurity was associated with a higher prevalence of ever transactional sex (PR: 1.60; 95% CI: 1.02, 2.49) compared to little to no food insecurity. These results provide insight into potential predictors of higher-risk sexual behavior in Rwanda; they also provide policy-makers with populations with whom to intervene on upstream determinants of transactional sex, notably poverty and food insecurity.

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