Higher-risk sex among young women and men

Export Indicator

Percentage of young women and men aged 15-24 who have had sex with a non-marital, non-cohabiting partner in the last 12 months
What it measures

To assess progress in reducing the percentage of young people aged 15–24 who have higher risk sex


The spread of HIV depends upon unprotected sex among people with high number of partnerships. Partners who do not live together are those who are most likely to have other partners over the course of a year. These partnerships, therefore, carry a higher risk of HIV transmission than partnerships that do not link into a wider sexual network.


Number of respondents aged 15-24 who have had sex with a non-marital, non-cohabitating partner in the last 12 months.


Number of respondents aged 15-24 who report sexual activity in the last 12 months.

Method of measurement

Respondents are asked about their marital status and the last three sexual partners within the last 12 months. For each partner, details are taken of cohabiting status as well as duration of the relationship, condom use and other factors.

Measurement frequency

Every 4-5 years


Education: N/A

Gender: Male, Female

Geographic location: Urban, Rural

Pregnancy status: N/A

Sector: N/A

Target: N/A

Time period: N/A

Type of orphan: N/A

Vulnerability status: N/A

Explanation of the numerator
Explanation of the denominator
Strengths and weaknesses

This indicator gives a picture of levels of higher-risk sex. If people stop having sex with all of their non-cohabiting partners, the change will be captured by changes in this indicator. However, if people simply decrease from seven non-cohabiting partners to one, for example, the indicator will not reflect a change, even though potentially this may have a signifi cant impact on the epidemic spread of HIV and may be counted a programme success.

Further information