STI prevention in the NWT, Canada is an urgent concern as STI prevalence is seven-fold the national average. The study was conducted with the purpose to explore factors associated with sexual activity and condom use among adolescents in the NWT.

This study was a cross-sectional survey with youth in 17 NWT communities. The total number of 607 participants. The sample size included adolescent 302 cisgender girls, 298 cisgender boys, and 7 transgender persons. Most identified as Indigenous and 14.0% as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or queer sexuality. Among sexually active individuals, less than half reported past 3 months of consistent condom use. In adjusted analyses among girls, sexual activity was associated with age, STI knowledge, and alcohol/drug use; LGBQ+ identity and alcohol/drug use were associated with reduced likelihood of condom use.

Findings demonstrate sexual activity among adolescents in the NWT varies by gender, age, and alcohol/drug use. Consistent condom utilization was low, particularly for those using alcohol/drugs. Gender-tailored STI prevention strategies with Northern adolescents should address alcohol/drug use and build protective factors.