Multiple sexual partnership among adolescent boys and young men in Ghana: analysis of the 2003–2014 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey

Isaac YEBOAH, Joshua OKYERE, Nutifafa Eugene Yaw DEY, Ronald Osei MENSAH, Pascal AGBADI, Mary Naana ESSIAW

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Multiple sexual partnership (MSP) is a major cause of HIV/AIDS epidemic and unplanned pregnancies in sub-Saharan Africa. We investigate how individual, household, interpersonal, community and structural factors correlate with multiple sexual partnership of adolescent boys and young men in Ghana.

We pooled secondary data from the 2003, 2008 and 2014 Ghana Demographic and Health Surveys (GDHS). Analytic sample of 1422 males aged 15–24 years who are sexually active and never married were used for the study. The outcome variable for the study was two or more sexual partners in the last 12 months preceding the survey. Five models were fitted using multilevel mixed effects logistic regression to identify predictors of multiple sexual partners. Results were presented using adjusted odds ratios (ORadj) with its corresponding 95% confidence interval.

The pooled data prevalence of multiple sexual partnership was 28.1%, with 18.7%, 30.0% and 33.3% of adolescent boys and young men involved in multiple sexual partnerships in 2003, 2008 and 2014, respectively. Results of the study showed that young men aged 20–24 years [ORadj = 1.39, 95% CI = 1.01–1.91], being from household with richest wealth index [ORadj = 1.76, 95% CI = 1.01–3.06] and those with secondary/higher education [ORadj = 2.94, 95% CI = 1.44–6.06] were more likely to have multiple sexual partners. On the other hand, those who delayed their first sex [ORadj = 0.45, 95% CI = 0.29–0.70] and those currently using modern contraceptive methods [ORadj = 0.37, 95% CI = 0.28–0.50] were less likely to have multiple sexual partners.

The findings provide support for the social ecological argument that sexual health behaviours are influenced by individual, interpersonal, community and contextual characteristics. Future policies and interventions seeking to address the increasing prevalence of multiple sexual partnerships among adolescent boys and young men should take into consideration family planning programmes and sexual education in affluent communities, secondary and higher institutions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number88
JournalTropical Medicine and Health
Issue number1
Early online date28 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank Measure DHS and the Ghana Statistical Service for granting them access to the data used in the analysis in this study.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).


  • Multiple sexual partnership
  • Adolescent boys
  • Young men
  • Social-ecological
  • Prevalence


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