Original Research

Reasons for inconsistent condom use by young adults in Mahalapye, Botswana

Luhaka Kanda, Robert Mash
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 10, No 1 | a1492 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v10i1.1492 | © 2018 Luhaka Kanda, Robert Mash | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 May 2017 | Published: 24 May 2018

About the author(s)

Luhaka Kanda, Division of Family Medicine and Primary Care, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Robert Mash, Division of Family Medicine and Primary Care, Stellenbosch University, South Africa


Background: Botswana is one of the countries significantly affected by the HIV and AIDS epidemic. Despite an extensive preventive campaign, the incidence of HIV remains high.Condoms are an important contributor to prevention of new HIV infections, although they are not consistently used by young adults.

Aim: The aim of this study was to explore the reasons why condoms are not consistently usedby young adults.

Setting: Mahalapye District Hospital and Airstrip Clinic, Botswana.

Method: This was a phenomenological qualitative study using individual in-depth interviews.Eleven participants were purposively selected, including six males and five females. Data were transcribed and analysed using the framework method.

Results: All participants acknowledged the importance of utilising condoms to prevent unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. Reasons not to use condoms were a need to have a child,implied lack of trust or faithfulness, long-term relationships need to
please the partner and decreased pleasure. Other contributing factors were lack of knowledge of benefits, less fear of contracting HIV and AIDS as it can now be controlled with medication,influence of tradition, alcohol and drug abuse, peer pressure, power and gender issues and the refusal of the partner. The female condom was largely rejected by young adults in general and by women in particular because of its size and the perception that it is complicated to insert.

Conclusion: The current preventive campaign against HIV and AIDS needs to take cognisance of the factors affecting decisions on the use of condoms by young adults and the obstacles to their use, particularly the new belief that HIV and AIDS is no longer a significant concern.


Health Promotion; Primary Prevention; HIV and AIDS; Condoms; Sexual Behaviour.


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Crossref Citations

1. “My partner was not fond of using condoms and I was not on contraception”: understanding adolescent mothers’ perspectives of sexual risk behaviour in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Desiree Govender, Saloshni Naidoo, Myra Taylor
BMC Public Health  vol: 20  issue: 1  year: 2020  
doi: 10.1186/s12889-020-08474-2