alexa Young people, HIV AIDS STIs and sexuality in South Africa: the gap between awareness and behaviour.
Healthcare

Healthcare

Journal of Community Medicine & Health Education

Author(s): James S, Reddy SP, Taylor M, Jinabhai CC

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Abstract AIM: To determine the baseline data of secondary school students in the Midlands district of Kwa-Zulu, Natal, South Africa. The data provide details of students' knowledge about sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV and AIDS, spread, prevention, how they can protect themselves from contracting an STI, their general awareness and sources of information, their perceptions of their vulnerability and their sexual practices. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was carried out among 1113 grade 11 students in 19 randomly allocated secondary schools. Data were collected through structured questionnaires and analysed using the SPSS software package. RESULTS: The results confirm that knowledge levels were high for causes and spread of STIs and the participants were well informed about issues relating to protection against STIs and seeking treatment. However, there was significant deviation in reported behaviours. CONCLUSION: This discrepancy between awareness and behaviour calls for a reorientation of sexuality education to include those elements critical for behavioural change, such as addressing gender discrepancies and promoting skills for communication through planned intervention programmes.
This article was published in Acta Paediatr and referenced in Journal of Community Medicine & Health Education

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