Sex Talk

Why aren't young people keen on using condoms?

Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng answers your sex questions

02 December 2018 - 00:00

Q. Why is it that despite campaigns and programmes, young people do not consistently use condoms to prevent sexually transmitted diseases?
A. It is true that many people do not use a barrier method, the male or internal condom, properly and consistently with every sexual contact.
As recent as 2016, the SA Demographic and Health Survey showed that in adults aged 15-49 years, 17% of men and 5% of women reported having two or more sexual partners in the past 12 months.
Inadequate condom use during the survey was reported among 58% of women and 65% of men who had multiple partners in the past year.
Many young people (now teenagers) were born with HIV and are a forgotten population group as most of the programming tends to focus on abstinence to avoid new infections. There is not enough comprehensive non-judgmental sexuality information.
It is important to remember that young people spend many hours in school and therefore teachers require training and personal development to assist them with tools to provide sexual health information that is empowering to learners.
The content as well as the delivery methods are important and should deal with emotional aspects of sexual health, contraception, negotiating condom use, STIs, unsupportable pregnancies and constitutional rights of minors related to sexual health and wellbeing.
The crisis levels of sexual assault and rape mean that access to post trauma centres for immediate emergency contraception and post exposure prophylaxis for HIV transmission should be guaranteed.
Storage is important to keep the integrity of the condom; store condoms in a cool, dry place and away from sunlight. Don't keep them any place where they'll be exposed to heat or fluctuations in temperatures, including your cabby hole, wallet, or back pocket.
Do not reuse the same condom for oral, vaginal or anal sex. A condom can prevent STDs, pregnancy, and there are lubricants that can enhance pleasure.
A rejuvenated public health campaign is required. Young people must be supported with ongoing campaigns and access to quality products and dignified care.
• Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng (MBChB), sexual and reproductive health practice, Disa Clinic, Do you have a question about sex?
E-mail your questions to with SEX TALK as the subject. Anonymity is assured.

This article is reserved for Sunday Times subscribers.

A subscription gives you full digital access to all Sunday Times content.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Registered on the BusinessLIVE, Business Day or Financial Mail websites? Sign in with the same details.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00.