The awareness and perceptions of sexually transmitted infections among students attending the University of Kwazulu-Natal

  • Funeka Mthembu
  • Dhee Naidoo
  • Makandwe Nyirenda
  • Nathlee Abbai


University students in KwaZulu-Natal are highly susceptible to sexually transmitted infections (STIs) due to their active engagement in risky sexual  behaviours. Increased evidence on behavioural change is dependent on the awareness of STIs and comprehensive understanding and perception of  one’s own risk. The purpose of this study was to assess the awareness of STIs among students enrolled at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, by examining  their sexual risk behaviour. The study used a quantitative research approach, through the use of a purposive sampling technique, to obtain a sample of  142 students between 18 and 35 years old. STAT version 15.1 was used to analyse the data. Outcomes of the study revealed that 78% of the students  were aware of STIs. Despite the high awareness, the students still have low risk perceptions especially towards condom use, alcohol consumption and  age disparate relationships. Education from schools and social media could eliminate myths and ensure relevant information.


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eISSN: 1596-9231