Assessing knowledge, attitudes and practices of boys and young men with regard to the prevention of pregnancy and HIV infection.
This paper focuses on boys and young men's attitudes, knowledge and practices with regard to pregnancy and HIV infection. The objective of the study is to ascertain how boys and young men perceive the risks of pregnancy and HIV infection. The study further investigates the strategies which the sexually active respondents considered as appropriate, practical and effective in coping with these risks. The study was based on the secondary data which was extracted from the transitions to adulthood survey conducted in KwaZulu Natal during 2001. The analysis was restricted to young men aged 14 to 24 years. The major findings from the study revealed that young men did not perceive themselves at risk of HIV infection. Overall, respondents were fairly knowledgeable about HIV/AIDS and knew where to access condoms, how HIV is contracted or transmitted etc. Findings also indicated that many respondents regarded pregnancy as a matter of great concern. Many respondents perceived pregnancy as highly problematic and were concerned to protect themselves against this risk. The major finding for this study revealed that the majority of sexually active young men used condoms for preventing both pregnancy and HIV/AIDS; while some also used various contraceptive methods to prevent pregnancy. A major factor promoting consistent condom use was the perception of pregnancy as highly problematic.