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Sexual orientation and risk factors for Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome transmission

D.T. Abaver, E.N. Cishe

Abstract


The issue of homosexuality attracts global debate, given that this constitutes risk factor for sexually transmitted diseases. An exploration of socio-cultural, religious and sexual activities of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex sector would inform future Human Immunodeficiency Virus programming. A cross-sectional study was conducted in all the five campuses of Walter Sisulu University (WSU). Data were collected with the aid of questionnaire and interviews. A total of 3048 participants completed the questionnaire. Most (69.8%) students are aware of homosexuals in the community, and 79% believe having sex with same gender is abnormal and unnatural. Most (84.7%) participants are straight/heterosexuals, while 3.6% are bisexual, 3.1% gay and 3.2% lesbians. Homosexuality as a risk factor for transmission of Human Immunodeficiency Virus scored 57.4%; while 25.3% confirmed that their religion encourages them to accept people with sexual preference, 47.3% observed that their religion sees homosexuality as unnatural and wrong. Seventy percent participants confirmed that their culture does not accept same sex relationships. Homosexuality by students in WSU community exists. Generally, the act and behaviour of these students are not accepted by the community. Therefore, there is need for the University community to include in the school curriculum and design programmes that will enlighten members of the community concerning the concept and practice of homosexuality.

Keywords: Knowledge, behaviour, sexual orientation, university community, students




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