A new research says that depression could be leading to risky sexual behaviors among the youth in South Africa, which potentially could lead to infections such as HIV.The study by University of Alberta research found that depression is common among young South Africans. They are likely to have risky sexual behaviors such as improper condom use and sex with sex workers and this could contribute towards the HIV epidemic in the country.

"Access to mental-health services for young people remains elusive as resources and are directed to more pressing conditions such as teenage pregnancy and HIV prevention," Mzikazi Nduna, a researcher from the U of A's school of public health said.

"Clearly we could achieve better success in our prevention efforts if they are delivered to clients who are in a healthy state of psychological well-being," added Iran Colman, an assistant professor of epidemiology.

They studied 1,002 females and 976 males between the ages of 15 and 26 in Eastern Cape Province, South Africa.

The researchers found 21.1 percent of women and 13.6 percent of men had symptoms of depressed. The depressed women were more likely to have experienced sexual violence and have partner several years older. The men were likely to have had three or more partners, committed rape and would have visited sex workers. The study is published in the Journal of the International Aids Society.