An investigation of risky sexual behaviours, basic HIV knowledge and intention to use condoms among a sample of men who have sex with men in a student community

Brink, Jaco Greeff (2012-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The primary objective of the study was to determine the level of self-reported sexual risk behaviour of student men who have sex with men at a South African higher educational institution. The secondary objective was to determine the level of Human Immunodefiency Virus (HIV) knowledge among student men who have sex with men, and lastly to determine the extent to which the theory of planned behaviour is applicable in explaining intentions to use condoms. A sample of fifty student men who have sex with men were recruited to take part in an online baseline and follow-up survey, three months apart. Many of the student men who have sex with men reported sexual behaviour, which may place them at risk of contracting HIV. More than fifty percent (56%) had used alcohol or drugs during sexual intercourse in the past. Six percent (6.1%) reported having been forced to have sexual intercourse against their will. While 8% had experienced abuse and violence on campus, 22% had experienced abuse only and another 6% reported having experienced some form of violence due to their sexual preference. Most participants (70%) reported having used condoms almost always or always when engaging in penetrative sexual behaviours, but 30% had used condoms inconsistently or not at all in the past. The sample of student MSM scored high on a questionnaire of basic HIV knowledge, with a mean score of 14.57 (80.94%). The present study questions the applicability of the theory of planned behaviour in understanding and predicting intention to use condoms among a sample of student men who have sex with men attending a South African higher education institution. Only two of the major theoretical variables, namely attitude and perceived group norms, could significantly predict intention to use condoms. Attitudes regarding condom use were found to have an inverse The primary objective of the study was to determine the level of self-reported sexual risk behaviour of student men who have sex with men at a South African higher educational institution. The secondary objective was to determine the level of Human Immunodefiency Virus (HIV) knowledge among student men who have sex with men, and lastly to determine the extent to which the theory of planned behaviour is applicable in explaining intentions to use condoms. A sample of fifty student men who have sex with men were recruited to take part in an online baseline and follow-up survey, three months apart. Many of the student men who have sex with men reported sexual behaviour, which may place them at risk of contracting HIV. More than fifty percent (56%) had used alcohol or drugs during sexual intercourse in the past. Six percent (6.1%) reported having been forced to have sexual intercourse against their will. While 8% had experienced abuse and violence on campus, 22% had experienced abuse only and another 6% reported having experienced some form of violence due to their sexual preference. Most participants (70%) reported having used condoms almost always or always when engaging in penetrative sexual behaviours, but 30% had used condoms inconsistently or not at all in the past. The sample of student MSM scored high on a questionnaire of basic HIV knowledge, with a mean score of 14.57 (80.94%). The present study questions the applicability of the theory of planned behaviour in understanding and predicting intention to use condoms among a sample of student men who have sex with men attending a South African higher education institution. Only two of the major theoretical variables, namely attitude and perceived group norms, could significantly predict intention to use condoms. Attitudes regarding condom use were found to have an inversrelationship with intention to use condoms. The results from the hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed that the linear combination of the theory of planned behaviour variables could significantly account for 68% of the variance in intention to use condoms when the predictors were considered together. Interventions that seek to lessen HIV risk behaviour among student men who have sex with men should endeavour to incorporate elements which should aim to augment perceived subjective norms regarding condom use. The findings advocate for additional research to be undertaken on the applicability of the theory of planned behaviour in informing health communication and sexual health interventions that aim to reduce HIV transmission risk among student men who have sex with men at higher educational institutions.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die primêre doel van die studie was om die vlak van self-gerapporteerde seksuele risiko gedrag van studentemans wat seks beoefen met mans (MSM) by 'n Suid-Afrikaanse hoër onderwysinstelling te bepaal. Die sekondêre doel was om die vlak van kennis oor die Menslike Immuniteitsgebreksvirus (MIV) onder studente MSM te bepaal, en laastens om die mate waarin die teorie van beplande gedrag toepaslik is om die voorneme om kondoom gebruik te verduidelik. ʼn Steekproef van vyftig studente MSM was gewerf om aan ʼn aanlyn basislynopname en opvolgopname deel te neem. Talle van die studente MSM het seksuele gedrag gerapporteer wat die mans blootstel aan die risiko om MIV op te doen. Meer as vyftig persent (56%) het in die verlede alkohol of dwelms gebruik tydens seksuele omgang. Ses persent (6,1%) het gerapporteer dat hulle al gedwing is om seksuele omgang teen hul wil te hê. Terwyl agt persent mishandeling en geweld op kampus ervaar het, het 22% slegs misbruik ervaar en nog 6% het een of ander vorm van geweld ervaar as gevolg van hul seksuele voorkeur. Die meeste deelnemers (70%) het gerapporteer dat hulle tydens penetratiewe seks byna altyd kondome gebruik, maar 30% het óf glad nie, óf ongereeld in die verlede kondome gebruik. Die studente MSM wat aan die steekproef deelgeneem het, het hoë tellings behaal in ‘n vraelys oor basiese MIV-feite, met ' ʼn gemiddelde telling van 14.57 (80.94%). Die huidige studie bevraagteken die toepasbaarheid van die teorie van beplande gedrag om die voorneme om kondome te gebruik onder ’n steekproef van studente MSM aan ’n Suid-Afrikaanse hoër onderwysinstelling te verstaan en te voorspel. Slegs twee van die belangrikste teoretiese veranderlikes, naamlik houding en subjektiewe groepnorme, kon beduidend die voorneme voorspel om kondome te gebruik. Houding oor kondoom gebruik het ʼn omgekeerde verwantskap met die voorneme om kondome te gebruik voorspel. Die resultate van die hiërargiese meervoudige regressie-ontleding het aangedui dat, wanneer die voorspellers saam oorweeg word, die lineêre kombinasie van die teorie van beplande gedrag veranderlikes betekenisvol tot 68% van die variansie in die voorneme om kondome te gebruik kan verklaar. Ingrypings wat daarop gemik is om MIV-risiko gedrag onder studente MSM te verminder, behoort elemente in te sluit wat streef daarna om waarneembare subjektiewe norme rakende kondoomgebruik aan te vul. Die bevindinge wys dat addisionele navorsing oor die gebruik van die teorie van beplande gedrag in gesondheidskommunikasie en seksuelegesondheid intervensies wat daarop gemik is om die risiko van MIV-oordrag tussen studente MSM by inrigtings vir hoër onderwys te verminder nodig is.

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