Original Research

Knowledge and practice of condom use among first year students at University of the North, South Africa

K Peltzer
Curationis | Vol 24, No 1 | a800 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v24i1.800 | © 2001 K Peltzer | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 September 2001 | Published: 28 September 2001

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K Peltzer, Department of psychology, University of the North, South Africa

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Abstract

The aim of the study is to investigate knowledge and sexual practices with reference to correct use of condoms among first year South African University students. The sample consisted of 206 participants, 146 female and 60 male, the mean age was 20.9 years (SD=3.4), with a range from 17 to 34 years. Results indicated that one third (29.2%) of the sample reported never using condoms, 35.4% always, 19.8% regularly and 8.5% irregularly in the past three months. About 90% levels of correct answers for condom use were found for the items of ‘condoms as protection against STD and AIDS’, ‘expiry date of condoms’, and ‘re-using condoms’. More than 15% were not aware that a condom should be put on before any contact with the vagina. The most common mistakes with respect to condom use were ignorance about the correct moment to put on a condom (56%), and when to take off a condom (55%). Male sex and especially increasing recent sexual encounters was associated with correct condom knowledge. The most common reasons for not using a condom were ‘I do not have the AIDS virus’ and ‘I thought I was safe’ seems to indicate a low perceived susceptibility. Findings are discussed in view of condom promotion programmes.

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