Correlates of condom use among male and female aged 18-24 years in South Africa
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Condom use is one of the effective means of HIV prevention among sexually active people. Even though HIV incidence has slightly decreased among the youth in South Africa, many young people still expose themselves to sexual risk behaviours. The aim of the study was to investigate factors that are associated with condom use and exposure to loveLife programmes among young people aged 18 to 24 years in South Africa. A cross-sectional population-based household survey in selected provinces in South Africa was conducted using a multi-stage disproportionate stratified cluster sampling approach. The sample (N=2138) used in the analysis for this paper only includes sexually active youth (18-24 years). Among the sexually active youth surveyed it was found that 78.9% reported using a condom at their last sexual intercourse; this was significantly higher among men (85.4%) than women (72.0%). In multivariate analysis, condom use among males was significantly associated with having not agreed with the statement "It is acceptable to have sex with my sex partner even though my partner does not want to", having partner risk reduction self-efficacy, having talked with their partner about condoms in past 12 months, having had two or more sexual partners in the past year and loveLife programme exposure. Among females, condom use was significantly associated with partner risk reduction self-efficacy, and having talked with their partner about condoms in the past 12 months. The findings indicate higher condom use at last sex among young men when compared to women in South Africa. Condom use with non-regular partners is generally high and even higher among men compared to women. However, condom use with transactional partners is very low. Of concern are young men's reported risk behaviours in having multiple partners. loveLife programme exposure has had a positive effect on condom use among young men. Therefore strategies are needed to improve regular condom use among youth with regular and transactional partners and reinforcing regular condom use with non-regular partners.
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