Knowledge and practice of condom use as well as perceived barriers among street adolescents in Cameroon
Introduction: Street children in Cameroon are adolescents, vulnerable to sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV and/or AIDS. The level of knowledge and practice of condom use among this population is unknown.
Objective of the study: To assess the knowledge, practice and barriers to condom use in Cameroon.
Materials and methods: The study was an analytical cross-sectional survey conducted in 2015. Questionnaires were administered to street children in a quiet location. Recruitment was made using the snowball technique with the help of peers.
Results: More than 90% of participants knew of condoms, but only about 6% reported to have used a condom during their last sexual encounter. Most of the participants did not know that condoms could prevent HIV; only a few (15.5%) knew about this.
Conclusion: Street adolescents in Cameroon seem to know about condoms, but have insufficient information on the importance of their regular use. The main barriers for the low practice of condom use reported by this population were the following: condoms hinder sexual pleasure; are costly; and it is embarrassing to buy, use or propose to use a condom.
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