Young people in Uganda are advised by the Ministry of Health and other authorities to abstain from sex in order to avoid the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), other sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and early pregnancies. If they cannot abstain they should use condoms and they should stay faithful to their partner.
To find out how young people perceive this advice and if they find it possible and realistic to follow.
In May and June 2000 twenty informants were selected by purposeful sampling and were interviewed in English. Given items were discussed. The interviews were recorded on tape, transcribed, extracted and sorted into categories in a qualitative research method.
Most of the interviewed youth claimed that the advice is good and helpful but there are many obstacles. The results showed that information given in schools about condom use and safer sex behaviour is not always adequate. However, despite lack of clear health education messages, the risk of being HIV positive is of major concern to many youth. In addition, the expected lack of support if the test is positive is a common reason for abstaining from HIV testing.
More discussions in society are needed to create consensus on safe sex messages presented to young people. HIV infection is a major concern but many young people abstain from testing, as they expect to receive inadequate support.
2002. Vol. 2, no 3, 107-113 p.