Original Research

Knowledge, attitude and practice study of HIV in female adolescents presenting for contraceptive services in a rural health district in the north-east of Namibia

Alexis Ntumba, Vera Scott, Ehimario Igumbor
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 4, No 1 | a342 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v4i1.342 | © 2012 Alexis Ntumba, Vera Scott, Ehimario Igumbor | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 August 2011 | Published: 24 July 2012

About the author(s)

Alexis Ntumba, School of Public Health, University of the Western Cape, South Africa
Vera Scott, School of Public Health, University of the Western Cape, South Africa
Ehimario Igumbor, School of Public Health, University of the Western Cape, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Namibia bears a large burden of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), and the youth are disproportionately affected.

Objectives: To explore the current knowledge, attitudes and behaviour of female adolescents attending family planning to HIV prevention.

Methods: A cross-sectional study design was used on a sample 251 unmarried female adolescents aged from 13 years to 19 years accessing primary care services for contraception using an interviewer-administered questionnaire. Data were analysed using Epi Info 2002. Crude associations were assessed using cross-tabulations of knowledge, attitude and behaviour scores against demographic variables. Chi-square tests and odds ratios were used to assess associations from the cross-tabulations. All p-values < 0.05 were considered statistically significant.

Results: A quarter of sexually active teenagers attending the family-planning services did not have adequate knowledge of HIV prevention strategies. Less than a quarter (23.9%) always used a condom. Most respondents (83.3%) started sexual intercourse when older than 16 years, but only 38.6% used a condom at their sexual debut. The older the girls were at sexual debut, the more likely they were to use a condom for the event (8% did so at age 13 years and 100% at age 19 years).

Conclusions: Knowledge of condom use as an HIV prevention strategy did not translate into consistent condom use. One alternate approach in family-planning facilities may be to encourage condom use as a dual protection method. Delayed onset of sexual activity and consistent use of condoms should be encouraged amongst schoolchildren, in the school setting.


Keywords

KAP study; HIV prevention; family planning services; adolescents; condom usage

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