oa Journal of Psychology in Africa - Health care-seeking behaviour for sexually transmitted diseases in South Africa



This paper, which originates from a larger study on sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the South African public health sector conducted in 1998, aims to identify and examine health care-seeking behaviours for STDs in South Africa. It focuses particularly on STD patient responses to previous and current STD symptoms regarding their patterns of service utilisation, the use of medications (including alternative medications), and behaviour after treatment. A number of complementary methodologies were used to measure health care seeking behaviour, including interviews with STD and non-STD patients attending Primary Health Care centres, as well as focus groups with community members in non-medical contexts. Results from the different methodologies produced contrasting pictures, particularly with respect to service utilisation and the use of alternative medications. Wider factors influencing health care-seeking behaviour are incorporated into the final interpretation of results.


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