Educational Research (ISSN: 2141-5161) Vol. 5(7), pp. 251-256, August 2014. DOI: http:/dx.doi.org/10.14303/er.2014.115. Copyright © 2014 International Research Journals
Full Length Research Paper
Condom use in relation to the HIV/AIDS pandemic among adolescents: the case of some selected schools in Zomba, Malawi
Department of Education and Teaching Studies, Mzuzu University, Private Bag 201, Luwinga, Mzuzu 2, Malawi.
HIV infection among Malawian youth is growing at an unequivocally alarming rate. Recent estimates according to the National AIDS Commission [NAC] (2009) indicate that about 3.6% of youth between the ages of 15 and 24 years are infected with HIV. This high prevalence rate comes against the backdrop that several interventions to curb the incidence of HIV/AIDS among young people have been implemented including the ABC strategy but in vain. The current study explored factors that culminate in disdain to condom usage - the ‘C’ factor of the ABC strategy - among adolescents in Malawi despite proven efficacy of the device in reducing infections within the age group in other generalized epidemics across the globe. Data were collected through questionnaires and focus group discussions. The respondents were secondary school students drawn from three schools in the Zomba District of southern Malawi aged optimally between 12 and 22. Results indicated that over 65. 5% of the overall respondents refuted to having used the condom in their sexual debuts or otherwise. Reasons for the aversion and disdain ranged from myths, misconceptions, skepticism, apathy, AIDS fatigue, rumors and negative symbolism across the continuum to stigma from service providers in Reproductive health centers which stood out as a major factor curtailing condom use among adolescents. These findings underscore the need for promoting youth friendly Reproductive health services and integrating such services with HIV and AIDS prevention among the youth.
Keywords: Adolescent, sexuality, condom use, preventative device, public health.