Original Research

Investigating causes of the high prevalence of sexually transmitted infections in Du Noon

Azhaar B.F. Dookhith, Adil Razack, Abdul-Aziez Isaacs
South African Family Practice | Vol 66, No 1 : Part 2| a5794 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/safp.v66i1.5794 | © 2024 Azhaar B.F. Dookhith, Adil Razack, Abdul-Aziez Isaacs | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 July 2023 | Published: 19 March 2024

About the author(s)

Azhaar B.F. Dookhith, Division of Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa; and Metro Health Services (Western Cape), Cape Town, South Africa
Adil Razack, Metro Health Services (Western Cape), Cape Town, South Africa
Abdul-Aziez Isaacs, Division of Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa; and Metro Health Services (Western Cape), Cape Town, South Africa

Abstract

Background: In South Africa, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) represent a significant public health issue. Sexually transmitted infections contribute significantly to the burden of disease in South Africa and are recognised as one of the main causes of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemic. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential causes of the high prevalence of STIs in the Du Noon population.

Methods: A mixed methodology study involving 40 participants between the ages of 18 years and 45 years was conducted at Du Noon community health centre from 01 May 2021 to 15 May 2021. Both structured questionnaires and one-on-one patient interviews with open-ended questions were utilised to collect data.

Results: Cultural beliefs, having multiple partners, a lack of partner notification, alcohol consumption, and a lack of condom usage were found to be the main contributing factors to the high incidence of STIs. Sex education appears to be lacking. Our findings reflected the other well-known cultural and socioeconomic issues confronting South African communities, for example, poverty, age-disparate relationships, and polygamous relationships.

Conclusion: The cultural perspectives and understandings of sexual interactions of older men appear to have an impact on younger generations; as do peer pressure, social media and other socio-economic factors. There is an urgent need to shift cultural ideologies and norms among the youth. More research is needed to understand the views and misconceptions of the general public about STIs.

Contribution: This study highlighted how health education challenges, interpersonal relationships, and socioeconomic barriers are still important factors in STI transmission.


Keywords

sexually transmitted infections; primary health care; risk factors; knowledge; prevalence; HIV; health education; aetiology

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being

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