oa Southern African Journal of Epidemiology and Infection - Knowledge and attitudes about and practices of condom use for reducing HIV infection among Goma University students in the Democratic Republic of Congo : original research
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is experiencing increasing human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) in young adults. This is despite the government's widespread campaign on HIV/AIDS awareness. In this study, high-risk university students who engage in casual sex, but who have good literacy skills, were surveyed to ascertain whether the education campaigns in the country influenced their condom use practice. This study sought to determine Goman University students' knowledge and attitudes about and practices of condom use for the purpose of reducing HIV infection. A descriptive cross-sectional quantitative study, using a self-administered questionnaire, was carried out. The ages of the students varied between 18 and 33. Most of them were men: 111 (80%), 129 (93%) were single, and most participants were Protestants (61, 44%) and Roman Catholics (57, 41%). The majority of participants (137, 99%) knew about condoms, while 132 (96%) were aware that condoms were available from and sold by pharmacies. Seventy-two (52 %) understood that condoms helped to prevent HIV, pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Ninety-four (68%) said that they knew how to use a condom, while 111 (80%) stated that the price of condoms was not a barrier to usage thereof. One hundred and two (74%) suggested that the university should supply students with condoms. Ninety-one (66%) were sexually active and 98 (71%) of participants reported that they had unprotected sex. Condom awareness was high and information was available from varying sources. Condoms were accepted as a means to prevent HIV/AIDS, STIs and pregnancy. Some ethnic groups disapproved of condom use because of religious and cultural beliefs. Consistent use of condoms was low in Goma University students.
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