A community based cross sectional study was conducted from March to April, 2011 in Gondar town. It is located about 750 km away from Northwest of Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. According to the 2007 census projection, the town has a total population of 227,100 . Many young and poor Ethiopians come to the town from the nearby districts and live in the streets as beggars and shoe shiner.
The participants of this study were street youth aged 10–24 who have lived in Gondar town for at least six months. The definition of street youth in this study was taken from WHO’s training module on substance use, sexual and reproductive health including HIV/AIDS and STDs. Street youth are defined as young people: who are ‘of the street’, having no home but the streets. Their family may have abandoned them or they may have no family member left alive. While who are ‘on the street’, are defined as those who visit their family regularly. They might even return every night to sleep at home, but spends most days and some nights on the street because of poverty, overcrowding, sexual or physical abuse at home . For the purpose of this study, censes was first conducted to estimate the approximate number of street youth and identify their common place of residence. All the 467 street youth who live in Gondar town for at least six month on the street were included in this study.
Socio demographic data; sex, age, occupation, religion, former residence, educational level, occupation, and duration of stay on the street were collected. HIV/AIDS risky sexual behaviors of street youth were assessed using questionnaire adopted from Behavioral Surveillance Survey and other published articles which was modified to be applicable for the local context. Data were collected via interview using structured questionnaire which was first prepared in English and then translated to the local language Amharic. Pretest was done out of the study area and modifications were done accordingly. Data collectors were diploma nurses working at different health institutions of Gondar town. Training was given to the data collectors for two days on the objective, confidentiality of information, respondents` right and techniques of interview prior to data collection. During data collection, frequent checkups were made by the principal investigator to ensure the completeness and consistency of the data.
The returned questionnaires were checked for completeness by the investigators. The data were entered in to EPI INFO version 3.5.3 and analyzed by SPSS version 16. Descriptive analysis was done to summarize the data in relation to the different variables.
Variables having P value ≤ 0.2 in the bivariate analysis were entered into multiple logistic regression model to control the effect of confounding. Odds ratio with their 95% confidence intervals were calculated to measure associations, and statistical significance was set at P < 0.05.
Ethical clearance was obtained from the ethical review board of Institute of Public Health, University of Gondar. The purpose and importance of the study were explained to the participants. Data were collected after full informed verbal consent was obtained from each participant. Confidentiality of the information has been maintained throughout by excluding names in the questionnaire and keeping their privacy by interviewing alone. They were also informed that participation was on voluntary basis and they can withdraw at any time if they are not comfortable about the interview.