The knowledge and perceptions of the risks of contracting HIV/AIDS and the sexual behavior of high school learners in Port St Johns Municipality, South Africa

Kibirige, Simon Namukonge (2014-04)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study attempts to identify HIV/AIDS knowledge gaps and the factors which influence the perceptions of the risks of contracting of HIV/AIDS, in relation to the sexual behavior of high school learners in Port St Johns Municipality. In order to do this, a close ended questionnaire was administered to 116 learners from three senior secondary schools in Port St Johns Municipality. Frequency table counts and percentages were used to describe HIV/AIDS knowledge, the perceptions of the risks of contracting of HIV/AIDS and the risky sexual behaviors by learners. The Pearson Product Moment Correlation was used in the inferential analysis. From the data, it was clear that a significant proportion of learners had gaps in their knowledge of HIV/AIDS. Female senior secondary school learners were slightly more knowledgeable than their male counterparts, in that 60% of the female learners were correct in their knowledge of HIV/AIDS, compared to 57 % of males. According to the data, 58 % of male high school learners correctly interpreted the perceptions of the risks of contracting HIV/AIDS, compared to 56% of their female counterparts. These low percentages suggest that the high school learners have inadequate skills in interpreting the perceptions of the risks of contracting of HIV/AIDS. Another finding was that 74 % of female learners do not engage in risky sexual behaviors which might lead to a contraction of HIV/AIDS, compared to 67 % of male learners. Male learners, as well as the female learners, had a Pearson Product Moment Correlation coefficient: r=0.522 for males and r= -0.268 for females, in terms of perceptions of risks of contracting of HIV/AIDS and engaging in risky sexual behavior. In other words, the results indicate that if males perceive the risks more acutely, they will not take such risks, whereas females are not easily influenced by the perceptions of risks and the way in which they behave. The study recommends that stakeholders of the schools craft HIV/AIDS programmes and policies that bridge the knowledge gaps and reduce or eliminate inaccurate perceptions of the risks of contracting HIV/AIDS, so as to enable learners to adopt safer sexual behaviors.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie poog om gapings in MIV/Vigs kennis te identifiseer en die faktore wat die persepsies van die risiko's van die kontraktering van MIV, met betrekking tot die seksuele gedrag van hoërskoolleerders in Port St Johns Munisipaliteit beïnvloed. Ten einde dit te doen, is 'n vraelys geadministreer onder 116 leerders van drie senior sekondêre skole in Port St Johns Munisipaliteit. Frekwensietabel-tellings en persentasies is gebruik om MIV/Vigs kennis te beskryf, die persepsies van die risiko's van die kontraktering van MIV en die riskante seksuele gedrag deur leerders. Die Pearson Produk Oomblik korrelasie is gebruik in die inferensiële analise. Die data toon dat ‘n aansienlike persentasie van die leerders ‘n tekort aan kennis het rakende MIV/Vigs. Vroulike senior sekondêre leerders toon effens meer kennis as hul manlike eweknieë, 60% van die vroulike leerders korrek was in hul kennis van MIV/Vigs, in vergelyking met 57% van die mans. 58% van die manlike hoërskoolleerders het die persepsies van die risiko's van MIV/Vigs korrek geïnterpreteer, in vergelyking met 56% van hul vroulike eweknieë. Hierdie lae persentasies dui daarop dat die hoërskoolleerders onvoldoende vaardighede het in die interpretasie van die persepsies van die risiko's van die kontraktering van MIV. Nog 'n bevinding was dat 74% van vroulike leerders nie betrokke is in riskante seksuele gedrag wat kan lei tot MIV-infeksie nie, in vergelyking met 67% van die manlike leerders. Manlike leerders, sowel as die vroulike leerders, het 'n Pearson Produk korrelasiekoëffisiënt: r = 0,522 vir mans en r = -0,268 vir vroue, in terme van die persepsies van risiko's van kontraktering van MIV/Vigs en betrokke te raak in riskante seksuele gedrag. Die studie beveel aan dat belanghebbendes van skole MIV/Vigs-programme en beleide ontwikkel wat die kennisgapings oorbrug en onakkurate persepsies verminder rakende die risiko van MIV-infeksie, met die doel dat leerder veiliger seksuele gerag sal toon.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/86690
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