An exploration of HIV/AIDS-related knowledge, attitudes and risky sexual behaviour of first-year psychology students at the University of the Western Cape

Fennie, Thelma (2011-03)

Thesis (MPhil)--University of Stellenbosch, 2011.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: HIV/AIDS risky behaviour remains a critical health concern for adolescents, specifically at university level. In South Africa, as in many other developed countries, the primary method of HIV/AIDS transmission is heterosexual intercourse (UNAIDS, 2006). Consequences of risky behaviour include unplanned and unprotected sex, HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Adolescents who decide to delay their first sexual experience sexual debut, will certainly have a better chance of not having their lives at risk with HIV/AIDS infections, than those who have an earlier sexual debut. In light of the above, this study was conducted to explore the level of sexual knowledge and attitudes about risky sexual behaviour and to identify trends in misinformation among young adults about HIV/AIDS. The study made use of a quantitative research approach. A self-administered baseline questionnaire, used for data collection, was administered to a group of students in a South African university setting. The survey focussed on the areas of HIV/AIDS and sexual reproductive health, in order to better understand young adults' knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and risky sexual behaviour around HIV/AIDS. A sample of (n=220) first-year Psychology students, with ages ranging between 18 and 24 years, were invited to participate in the study. Respondents had an average age of 19.7 years, and were 164 female and 56 male undergraduates. A total of 220 respondents responded to the questionnaire, resulting in a return response rate of 100%. The findings indicated that over 80% of the students have high levels of knowledge and attitudes with regard to HIV/AIDS. They would on the other hand, refuse having sexual intercourse with a partner without a condom during sexual intercourse. Over 80% had chosen to abstain from sex till their wedding day. Fourty-eight percent (48%) felt that more educational and awareness programmes with regard to HIV/AIDS are necessary. Changing behaviour proves to be the key variable which can impact on the spreading and prevention of the HI-virus. Furthermore, the study will make recommendations for future preventative interventions to address the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: MIV/Vigs is 'n kritiese gesondheidsbekommernis vir adolessente veral op universiteitsvlak. In Suid-Afrika, sowel as in ander ontwikkelde lande, is die primêre metode van oordrag deur middel van heteroseksuele geslagsomgang. Adolessente wat besluit om hul eerste seksuele ondervinding (seksuele debuut) te vertraag, staan sekerlik 'n beter kans om nie blootgestel te word aan MIV-Vigs infeksies nie. Anders as diegene wat wel aan 'n vroeer seksuele debuut blootgestel word. Die doel van hierdie studie is om ondersoek in te stel rondom die seksuele kennis en houdings omtrent hoë-risiko seksuele gedrag en om neigings rakende MIV/Vigs onder jong volwassenes te identifiseer. 'n Kwalitatiewe benadering is in hierdie studie gebruik. 'n Self-administreerde grondslag vraelys was aan 'n groep studente in 'n Suid-Afrikaanse universiteit uitgereik vir data insameling. Die fokus van die vraelys behels areas van MIV/Vigs en seksuele reproduktiewe gesondheid om sodoende die kennis, houdings en hoë-risiko seksuele gedrag van jongmense te verstaan. 'n Steekproef van (n=220) eerstejaar Sielkunde studente, van die ouderdomsgroepe 18-24 jaar, was ewekansig geselekteer om aan die studie deel te neem. Die gemiddelde ouderdom van die studente was 19.7 jaar met 164 vroulike en 56 manlike voorgraadse studente. Al 220 studente het die vraelys voltooi dus was daar 'n responssyfer van 100%. Resultate dui daarop dat meer as 80% van die studente het hoë kennis- en houdingsvlakke met betrekking tot MIV/Vigs. Daarteenoor sou hulle seksuele omgang met 'n maat weier indien hul nie 'n kondoom kan gebruik nie. Meer as 80% het gekies om afstand van seks te neem tot en met hul troudag. Agt-en-veertig persent (48%) voel veel meer opvoeding-en bewustheidsprogramme met betrekking tot MIV/Vigs is noodsaaklik. Gedragsverandering is die enigste werklike veranderlike wat 'n impak kan hê op die verdere voorkoming en verspreiding van die MIV-virus. Verder word aanbevelings vir toekomstige voorkomende ingryping wat die MIV/Vigs pandemie aanspreek, voorgestel.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/6560
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