Barriers to Condom use among the Youth in a Municipal Town in Ghana
Condom-use has been identified as one way to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS but the prevalence of consistent condom-use remains low, especially in West Africa. An analytical cross-sectional survey was conducted in the Sunyani Municipality in the Brong-Ahafo to identify barriers to condom-use among young people. The association between study variables were tested and quantified. Two hundred and twenty (220) sexually active individuals aged 15-24 years were interviewed using a questionnaire to elicit information on their sexual history and behaviour, condom-use history and the extent to which certain behavoiurs and experiences impede condom-use in their sexual relationships. Condom-use at last intercourse was reported by only 37.5% of males and 38.9% of females (p<0.832). Age, education and marital status were significantly associated with condom-use (p<0.001, p<0.005, p<0.030). Partner trust, non-availability of condoms, not achieving the desired sexual satisfaction and embarrassment of condom purchase were the main barriers to condom-use. Prevention strategies based on perceived severity or adequate knowledge about HIV/AIDS may not be sufficient to induce condom-use. Reproductive health services to young people should emphasize personal vulnerability to HIV and other sexually transmitted infections to encourage condom-use among sexually active young people.
Journal of the Ghana Science Association Vol. 9 (2) 2007: pp. 76-84