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South African Medical Journal

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Dual protection in sexually active women

I Kleinschmidt, B.N. Maggwa, J Smit, M.E. Beksinska, H Rees

Abstract


Objective. To determine the prevalence and co-factors associated with the practice of dual protection against sexually transmitted infections (STis) and unwanted pregnancy in a cross-sectional sample of South African women.
Design. Secondary analysis of cross-sectional household survey data.
Methods. Statistical analysis of responses by sexually active women to the question, 'Was a condom used on the last occasion you had sex?' were obtained from the women's questionnaire of the South African Demographic and Health Survey in relation to a number of other variables.
Results. (i) 10.5% of all sexually active women aged 15- 49 years used a condom at last sex and 6.3% used a condom as well as another contraceptive method; (it) condom use is more likely among younger, more educated, more affluent, and urban women, and among women who change partners more frequently; (iii) reasons for not using condoms are more likely to be associated with the personal attitudes of women or their partners than with poor knowledge of or lack of access to condoms; (iv) women who have no need or desire to prevent pregnancy are less likely to use condoms; and (v) there is a minority of sexually active women, characterised by social disadvantage, who have difficulty obtaining condoms.                                                                                                                                               Conclusions. There is an urgent need for targeted programmes that increase dual protection with condoms.




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