Factors influencing consistency of condom use among college students in Durban, South Africa.
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Condoms remain the only method that provides dual protection against sexually transmitted diseases (including HIV/AIDS) and unplanned pregnancy. For a long time, condoms have been regarded as one of the most effective and practical methods of dual protection. In a country like South Africa with a high HIV prevalence, condoms have an important role to play in curbing the further spread of AIDS. Recent estimates suggest that approximately 7.5 million South Africa are living with HIV/AIDS. The aim of this study is to shed more light on consistency condom use among young students drawing on quantitative data from a selfadministered survey consisting of close-ended questions. This study contributes to existing knowledge by investigating consistent condom use among a young segment of the population. The survey consisted of a sample of 230 students, with 57.4% of the sample being females and males being 42.6%. This study draws on the health belief model (BHM) to better understand condom use consistency. This model was selected because it uses behavioural components to explain low levels of consistent condom use. The findings of the study show that almost half of sample have ever had sexual intercourse. Men were more likely than women to report having sexual intercourse. The majority of the participants were Africans. The study found that 49.44% students under 20 years and 56% students aged 20 years and above used a condom at their first sexual encounter. Furthermore, almost half of the sexually active men and women used a condom the first time they had sexual intercourse. Condom use at last sexual encounter was much higher. In general, attitudes to condom is relatively positive but there are some barriers to consistent condom use. The study confirmed that the rates of condom use are low on the first sexual intercourse because young people are usually unprepared for the event and in most cases, it is unplanned. Consistent condom use remains a challenge among young men and women and more effort is needed to address some of the negative attitudes about condoms.