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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - JMIR public health and surveillance
Title Investigating Sociodemographic Factors and HIV Risk Behaviors Associated With Social Networking Among Adolescents in Soweto, South Africa: A Cross-Sectional Survey
Volume 2
Issue 2
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
URL https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5074647/

Internet access via mobile phones and computers facilitates interaction and potential health communication among individuals through social networking. Many South African adolescents own mobile phones and can access social networks via apps.


We investigated sociodemographic factors and HIV risk behaviors of adolescent social networking users in Soweto, South Africa.


We conducted an interviewer-administered, cross-sectional survey of adolescents aged 14-19 years. Independent covariates of social networking were assessed by multivariate logistic regression analysis.


Of 830 adolescents, 57% (475/830) were females and the median age was found to be 18 years (interquartile range 17-18). Social networking was used by 60% of adolescents (494/830); more than half, that is, 87% (396/494) accessed social networks through mobile phones and 56% (275/494) spent more than 4 hours per day using their mobile phones. Social networking was independently associated with mobile usage 2-4 hours (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]: 3.06, CI: 1.69-5.51) and more than 4 hours per day (AOR: 6.16, CI: 3.46-10.9) and one (AOR: 3.35, CI: 1.79-6.27) or more sexual partner(s) (AOR: 2.58, CI: 1.05-6.36).

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