The effect of alcohol abuse on high-risk sexual behaviour among students in Mafikeng

Mabille, Philip Adam Neo (2009-03)

Thesis (MPhil (Industrial Psychology. Africa Centre for HIV/AIDS Management))--University of Stellenbosch, 2009.


Alcohol abuse among the student population in Mafikeng frequently leads to irresponsible sexual behaviour. Too many students acquire sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection or become pregnant. Furthermore, this behaviour can accelerate the spread of HIV among the people in local and surrounding areas. This study focused on the effect of alcohol abuse on high risk sexual behaviour. This risky sexual behaviour by students presents a major challenge to the different sectors (i.e. Learning institutions, Departments of Education, Health and Social Services; and Local AIDS Council) on the management of HIV and AIDS in Mafikeng. Research has shown that the likelihood that an individual may engage in irresponsible sex increases with the consumption of alcohol. It has also revealed that the level of alcohol consumption is a predicator of sexual involvement. The major objective of the study was to examine alcohol use and sexual risk behaviour within the student population in Mafikeng. The other objective was to describe the social dynamics of alcohol abuse on risky sexual behaviour among students at the nightclubs and taverns. The methods used to collect the data from students (higher institution and high school) were focus groups, and interviews were used for clinic administrators and drinking establishment owners within the study area. During fieldwork the participants were selected by approaching individuals at drinking establishments and medical centres. The establishments where participants were selected were located within a radius of 5km from the university. The findings provide a consistent picture of high rates of alcohol abuse, binge drinking and daily drinking in these places. The health centres also show high rates of cases of sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancies. The findings show clear link between the high rates of cases of sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancies and alcohol abuse.

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