Understanding the attitudes, perceptions and practices towards condom use in preventing HIV among university students: A qualitative exploratory study at a tertiary institution, Cape Metropole, Western Cape.
Kola, Beauty Nontuthuzelo
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HIV prevalence in South African youth aged 15-24 years was 7.1% in 2012, and is considered high (Shisana et al., 2014), suggesting that this population is highly vulnerable to HIV infection. Most students at the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) fall within this age range group, and thus may face similar challenges regarding HIV infection and condom use. HIV prevalence among students in South African HEIs has increased, with Heeren et al. (2013) highlighting an incline from 2.3% in 2010 to 3.4% in 2012. Therefore, students remain at considerable risk of contracting HIV. As part of an HIV prevention initiative of Higher Education South Africa (HESA), the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) has an HIV/AIDS prevention programme offering a wide variety of services aimed at preventing, controlling and managing HIV/AIDS among its students. A key component of this programme is condom promotion, intended to reduce unprotected sexual intercourse, and hence the risk of HIV transmission. Despite these programmes, the annual HIV incidence rate among students at the institution appears to have increased, from 0.2% in 2013 to 1.0% in 2015. The increase in HIV incidence suggests issues around the uptake and use of condoms.