Percent of young people (15-24) having multiple partners in last year
The percent of young people (15-24) who have had sex with more than one partner in the last 12 months, of all young people surveyed
In a survey among people aged 15-24, respondents are asked about their sexual partnerships in the last year. Those who report more than one partner in the last 12 months constitute the numerator. The denominator is all respondents.
Evaluators should report this result separately for men and women. It may also be constructed separately for those aged 15-19, <15 and 20-24, as appropriate.
This indicator is calculated as:
(# of youth (aged 15-24) who report having sex with more than one partner in the last 12 months/Total # of youth) x 100
Self-reported data from survey respondents
UNAIDS general population survey; DHS AIDS module; FHI BSS (youth)
Prevention messages for young people tend to begin with abstinence and often focus also on mutual monogamy. But because sexual relationships among young people are frequently unstable, relationships that were intended to be mutually monogamous may break up and be replaced by other relationships in which similar intentions prevail. Particularly in high HIV prevalence epidemics, serial monogamy is not greatly protective against HIV infection. This indicator measures the proportion of young people exposed to more than one partner in the last year, that is, the proportion for whom the “one, mutually faithful partner” message has failed.
This indicator does not distinguish between marital and non-marital partners. It tracks all multiple partnerships, regardless of their relative levels of risk. In the very similar adult sexual behavior indicator (Percent of Population Who Had Higher Risk Sex in the Last Year), a distinction is made between marital and cohabiting partners, and all other partner types. This distinction is partly to cope with the measurement challenge posed by men in polygynous societies, who may have multiple partners within marriage. However, because polygyny among men under 25 is extremely rare, the distinction is unnecessary in an indicator for young people.
The indicator also suffers from the expected respondent and social desirability bias. Young people saturated with prevention messages will be highly motivated to underreport partners. Likewise, social pressure for women to give untruthful answers may be strong.
adolescent, HIV/AIDS, cervical cancer