Sexual risk behaviours among rural learners at Mdutshane Senior Secondary School, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa
The purpose of this study was to determine and describe the prevalence of risky behaviours among the learners in a rural secondary school in the Eastern Cape Province. A cross-sectional sample of 150 learners in grades 10-12 with mean age of 18.8±1.73 years was undertaken. Data were collected using a self-administered questionnaire which was designed to collect demographic information and risky behaviour practices. The study found that overwhelming proportion (86%) of the participants were sexually active; and of these, 3.23% reported having their sexual debut at age 10. The results also reveal that 46.1% reported contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs) which was far higher than the 2002 national average prevalence of 7.4%. In addition, only about 1 in 4 (24%) participants discussed sexual issues with their parents/guardians. Reproductive health promotion programmes should be intensified in schools especially among rural learners with strong parents and community involvement.
Keywords: Sexual risk behaviours, prevalence, learners, South Africa.