A qualitative exploration of factors influencing non-use of sexual reproductive health services among university students in South Africa
Mazibuko, Ntombenhle E.
Okonji, Emeka Francis
MetadataShow full item record
: (1) Background: There is growing concern in South Africa about risky sexual behaviour, sexual transmitted infections (STIs), and unplanned pregnancy among young people. Many sexually active students engage in several risky behaviours, including sex with multiple sexual partners, low condom use, and low contraceptive use. This paper qualitatively explores factors influencing non-use of sexual reproductive health services by students at Mangosuthu University of Technology in South Africa (MUT). (2) Methods: Data was collected through 20 in-depth interviews with MUT students and subjected to inductive thematic analysis. Informed consent was obtained before all data collection. (3) Results: The main themes identified were risky sexual behaviours translating to multiple intimate partners, perceived quality of condom use, perceived benefits of contraceptives, negotiating safer sex with partners, developing a greater sense of autonomy, alcohol and drug abuse, perceived benefits of health education provided by the MUT, and lack of open communication. (4) Conclusions: The findings suggest that university students need multi-faceted interventions designed to address challenges with risky sexual behaviours including knowledge and benefits of condom and contraceptive use to prevent STIs and unwanted pregnancies, as well as providing psychosocial interventions to support these students’ autonomy.