Sexuality and HIV prevention: concerns of young people within faith communities in KwaZulu–Natal, South Africa:
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
This paper explores HIV prevention messages reported by young people, and their perceived risk of HIV infection in faith communities. A questionnaire survey was conducted, including young people (n=1102) affiliated to the Roman Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the Assemblies of God. The questionnaire included: sociodemographic characteristics, the teachings of the churches on sexuality and HIV prevention, experiences of relationships, and the perceived risk of HIV infection. Participants were also encouraged to write questions on sexuality and HIV/AIDS. Unmarried individuals aged 15-24 years (n=811) were included in the analysis. The majority (83%) participated in youth groups and considered themselves as religious (80%). Premarital sexual abstinence was the most frequent (88%) reported prevention message from the church, followed by: faithfulness (23%), HIV testing (18%), and condom use (17%). The majority (83%) had experience of a relationship and perceived themselves at risk of HIV infection (53%); 29% of the respondents had been tested. Using binary logistic regression analysis, we found that religious affiliation was associated with education on sexuality and HIV in youth groups, suggesting better information for members in the Lutheran and Catholic churches. Lutheran youth were more likely to be tested for HIV. The personal questions illustrated that young people in churches have serious questions about their sexuality, relationships, and HIV transmission.
In conclusion, faith communities focus on abstinence messages, while the information on sexuality and relationships appear to be less frequent. Faith communities need to strengthen their capacity to educate young people about sexuality, relationships and HIV prevention.
Religion; education; HIV; AIDS; youth; church; South Africa
Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject International Health
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-155278OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-155278DiVA: diva2:424935