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MARCH Outcome Evaluation

In contrast, this study documented the lack of significant association between exposure to the MARCH and the reporting of having ever talked about HIV/AIDS and other sexual matters with friends and partners in Addis Ababa. Furthermore, no statistically significant trend was noted between the baseline and outcome surveys in terms of the proportion that reported having ever talked/discussed with friends or sexual partners regarding HIV/AIDS and sexual matters in the year preceding the surveys in Addis Ababa.   

Regularly participating in the MARCH peer group discussions (i.e. being highly-exposed) resulted in a decrease (but not significantly) in the prevalence of both the lifetime as well as recent levels of sexual activity among the never married [in both of the sites]. While moderate exposure (i.e. moderately-exposed) to the MARCH appeared to have little or no effect on behavioral changes

In Addis Ababa, the proportion of never-married that reported ever having had sex in their life time appeared the lowest (i.e. 19.1%) among the highly-exposed respondents, compared to any of the other exposure categories. In contrast, there was no difference between the non-and moderately-exposed respondents (28.9% and 30.3%, respectively) in the proportion reporting having ever had sex, suggesting that moderate exposure to the MARCH may not be sufficient to induce favorable behavioral change (such as abstinence and delaying age at sexual debut) in this population.

Of note, statistically significant difference in the proportion of never-married that reported having ever had sex was recorded when highly-exposed male respondents of the outcome survey were compared with their male counterparts at baseline (42.6% vs. 10%, p=0.04). No such declining trend was, however, observed for females.  In fact, for females the levels of both lifetime and recent sexual activity have remained unchanged over the years.  

There was no difference in the reporting of recent sexual activity (i.e. in the year preceding the survey) between the exposed and non-exposed never-married respondents of Addis Ababa. The proportion that reported recent sexual activity was found to be 18.4%, 18% and 19.1% among the non- moderately-and highly-exposed never-married respondents, respectively.  Notably, the lowest reporting of recent sex (i.e. in the year preceding the survey) was recorded for the highly-exposed male respondents of Addis Ababa (about 10% for both) compared to rates exceeding 30% for the moderately-and non-exposed male counterparts.

None of the moderately-or highly-exposed never married respondents of West Hararghe reported that they had started sex. While about 6% and 3% of the non-exposed said that they had sex at least once in their lifetime and in the year preceding the survey, respectively. The virtual absence of reporting of recent sexual activity among participants of the MARCH provides some useful indication on the likely positive influence of the intervention in promoting sexual abstinence and delaying age at sexual debut among the never married in West Hararghe.    

Baseline levels of lifetime as well as recent sexual activity did not significantly differ from levels documented for the non-exposed and moderately-exposed outcome survey respondents of Addis Ababa. However, the reporting of both

Addis Ababa and West Hararghe

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