Background: magnitude of unprotected sexual practice among PLWHA is generally high in African countries. It can have a serious public health impact which is a potential of transmitting HIV to another individuals thereby increasing new HIV infections and exposing those people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) practicing it to new variant of HIV which can result in super infection and treatment failure. Understanding the practice in Ethiopia will have public health significance.
Methods: institution based cross sectional study design with internal comparison was used and data was collected using a structured questionnaire. 667 PLWHA were included in this study. Systematic random sampling technique was used. Analysis was done using SPSS for windows version 15. Univariate, bivariate and multivariate analysis were performed to see association between different factors and unprotected sex.
Results: magnitude of unprotected sexual practice among PLWHA in the study area was found to be 22.2% with 95% CI: (19%, 25.4%). For this unprotected sexual practice four independently associated factors were identified. These are being female with AOR=2.103 (1.135, 3.895), being divorced/widowed/separated with AOR=4.892 (2.071, 11.558), length of stay with the current partner for ≥ 49 months with AOR=3.255 (1.855, 5.714) and not discussing or partly discussing about safe sex and condom use with sexual partner with AOR= 17.105 (8.918, 32.808)
Conclusions: Still high proportions of people living with HIV/AIDS were found to engage in unprotected sex. Hence continuous counseling and health education by health professionals and counselors on how to avoid unprotected sex and on how to enhance discussion about safe sex and condom use with their sexual partner should be given for PLWHA during their follow up care. Different health education materials should be prepared and distributed to PLWHA in the study area to make them aware of problem of unprotected sex and way of preventing it.