Barriers to HIV/AIDS protective behaviour among African adolescent males in township secondary schools in Durban, South Africa.
This exploratory qualitative study investigates possible barriers to HIV preventive behavior amongst Zulu-speaking, black adolescent males, aged 15-23, in township secondary schools in Durban, South Africa. Perceptions, attitudes, beliefs, and practices concerning HIV prevention and transmission are elicited using semi-structured focus groups and mixed open-ended and closed-ended questionnaires. Thematic analysis of the data is used to identify possible barriers to protection. Issues specifically investigated are condom use and multiple sexual partners. Belief in the ability to choose uninfected girlfriends, a distrust of and misperceptions about condoms, the importance of trust to a sexual relationship, false optimism engendered by fast-spreading myths about cures, and skewed risk perception engendered by conspiracy theory narratives and overestimation of the severity of the epidemic were found to be possible barriers to protection amongst males and controlling the spread of HIV. A discussion of these barriers ensues the results.