|dc.description.abstract||Although sexual and reproductive health practices among young people are well
documented, little is known about the factors that affect their decisions to use contraception.
This is of paramount importance particularly in KwaZulu-Natal for two reasons: 1) the
increasing number of teenage unplanned pregnancies in KwaZulu-Natal and 2) the inherent
implication that unprotected sex can result in the transmission of diseases like sexually
transmitted infections, including HIV and AIDS. Additionally, the sexual risk-taking and
reproductive health behaviour of young people in KwaZulu-Natal is of extreme interest to
researchers and program implementers, particularly since KwaZulu-Natal is the worst HIV
affected region in South Africa (World Aids Conference XID, 1999).
The aim of this study is to investigate sexual and reproductive health practices and
dynamics among males and females between the ages 14 and 22 years in two areas in
KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: Metropolitan Durban and the magisterial district of Mtuzini.
It explores a selection of the factors that affect contraceptive use among young people.
These include age, race, sex, geographic location, relationship status and perceived risk.
The study includes a rural-urban comparison, using focus group discussions and structured
interviews from a pre-existing data set. Results were analysed using the Statistical Package
for the Social Sciences (SPSS). The method of triangulation was adopted as this offered a
more holistic approach to the analysis of both the qualitative and quantitative components
of this study. The quantitative analysis was conducted using univariate frequencies,
bivariate cross tabulations and multivariate logistic regression.
The major [mdings of this study were that there is a strong correlation between
contraceptive use and relationship status, age and sex of respondent and geographic
location: (i) Both men and women in a steady relationship were more likely to use
contraception, with a greater prevalence among those young adults who had previously
given birth or fathered a child. (ii) respondents in the 20-22 year old age category exhibited
the highest occurrence of safe sex practices, (iii) young women viewed contraception more
positively than young men; particularly as a means to avoid or delay pregnancy, (iv)
knowledge about contraception, its use and source of supply among both men and women
between the ages 14 and 22 years is universal, with almost all having heard of at least one
modem method of contraception. However, young people living in urban areas displayed a
greater knowledge of the different contraceptive methods, than their rural counterparts.||en