Friday, April 2, 2010

Risk, writing and arithmetic on campus in South Africa

Low HIV Prevalence Rates on Campus
via PlusNews


Risk, writing and arithmetic

The research revealed that about 60 percent of sexually active students had been tested for HIV before, and a similar percentage reported using a condom the last time they had sex.

Still, campus life is risky. Study researcher Dr Warren Parker said the self-administered questionnaires allowed under-researched topics to be explored, such as risky sex, and same-sex relationships, reported by 6 percent of male students.

About 8 percent of all students reported engaging in anal sex; Parker told IRIN/PlusNews that some participants mistakenly perceived anal sex as less risky than vaginal intercourse.

Other high-risk student behaviours that failed to raise red flags included multiple concurrent partnerships and inter-generational sex, where male and female students took partners at least ten years their senior, often for material gain.

"Some new students, especially those from poor backgrounds, may show up to campus with no accommodation. They may have their school fees paid, but no money for food," said Dr Kevin Kelly, director of the Centre for AIDS Development, Research and Evaluation (CADRE), and part of the research team. "This question of students' basic needs cannot be separated from the HIV question."
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