Knowledge of STI/HIV/AIDS and condom use among youths of The Redeemed Christian Church of God, (RCCG) Maseru, Lesotho
Thesis (MPhil (Industrial Psychology. Africa Centre for HIV/AIDS Management))--University of Stellenbosch, 2011.
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is mainly transmitted through sexual intercourse mostly among the sexually active population aged 15-24. Young adults account for the highest percentage of AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) in Southern Africa, Lesotho inclusive. Causes of the increased rates of STIs/HIV in young people are complex; the main reasons include biological factors, risky sexual behaviour patterns, transmission dynamics and treatmentseeking behaviour. The continuous spread of STI/HIV/AIDS depends on behavior and sexual habits. Majority of the population in Lesotho are Christians and morality is been preached daily. It is alarming that all these preaching do not reduce unsafe sexual behavior and the spread of STI/HIV/AIDS. Many Faith-Based Organizations (FBOs) promote comprehensive prevention approaches but find it difficult to discuss sex and safer practices, particularly condom use, in a faith context. It is important to break the silence around HIV, dispel myths and misinformation, and to overcome stigma and discrimination within the faith context. Aim: The aim to study is to assess the knowledge of youths in a religious environment towards STI/HIV/AIDS and condom use. Method: The study was conducted among 30 members of RCCG youths with equal gender balance (15 males and 15 females) aged between 15 and 24 years. A semi-structured, selfadministered questionnaire was used to collect the data over 2 weeks.The data was the analyzed using statistical software EPI Info version 3.5.1. Result: Knowledge STI/HIV/AIDS across the age group was good with those less than 19 years of age having 92.3% and those more than 20 years of age having 82.4%. Likewise, half of the RCCG youths less than 19 years have good knowledge of condom use while about two thirds of youths more than 20 years of age have good knowledge of condom use as compared to 33.3% with poor knowledge. About three quarter (73.3%) of female RCCG youths have good knowledge of condom use as compared to about half (53.3%) of the male youths. All RCCG youths (100%) in tertiary institution have good knowledge of condom use as compared to 60.9 % of those in secondary school. All the participants had formal education with 60% of them in secondary school and the remaining 40% in tertiary institution. Conclusion and Recommendations: This research study gave an opportunity to an air of openness on STI/HIV/AIDS and condom use among RCCG youths. Churches preach abstinence, but Abstinence and preventive measures are to be preached alongside each other. RCCG church should inform all church members (including the youths) about STI/HIV/AIDS and preventive methods. Seminars/Workshops should be regularly organized to bring the youths together so that they can freely express themselves concerning issues around STI/HIV/AIDS. Faith Based Organizations (FBO) and Non Governmental Organizations (NGO) should work together with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) in promoting health education about the importance of preventing STI/HIV/AIDS.
AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die doel van hierdie studie was om die kennisvlakke van jong persone in ‘n godsdienstige omgewing te evalueer. Meer spesifiek was die doel om die jong mense se houding teenoor die gebruik van kondome en houding teenoor MIV/Vigs te bepaal. Die studie is onderneem by 30 lede van die RCCG in Lesotho. Ouderdomme het gewissel tussen 15 en 24 jaar en die steekproef het bestaan uit 15 mans en 15 dames. ‘n Smei-gestruktureerde vraelys is vir die ondersoek gebruik. Resultate het aangetoon dat die kennisvlakke verbasend hoog was. Die bydrae van die studie was om MIV/Vigs met meer openhartigheid te bespreek. Sekere voorstelle vir seminare en werkswinkels word gemaak.