Journal of Social Sciences

HIV/AIDS Knowledge and Sexual Behavior Among Junior Secondary School Students in South Africa

Karl Peltzer and Supa Promtussananon

DOI : 10.3844/jssp.2005.1.8

Journal of Social Sciences

Volume 1, Issue 1

Pages 1-8


The aim of the study was to assess HIV/AIDS knowledge and sexual behaviour among jun-ior Secondary School students in South Africa using a cross-sectional survey design. The sample con-sisted of 3150 students, with 44.1% were male and 55.9% female students. Their mean age was 15.75 yrs (SD=1.61) ranging from 13 to 24 years chosen from 150 schools in South Africa. Results indicate that 46% of the 16 year-old males and 20% of the 15.5 year-old females had already been sexually ac-tive. At first sex 63.8% of the male and 78.7% of the female students indicated that they had used a condom, but almost half (44%) of those who had had sex before had not used a condom at last sex. One quarter of the students (25.6%) indicated that they had had sex with someone much older than them (above 30 yrs), which was significantly higher among female (31.2%) than male students (22.9%) and significantly higher among non-urban (28.4%) than urban (17.2%) students. Twenty-seven percent of the students reported that they had sex for the exchange of gifts. At an average age of 15.75 years the number of self-reported lifetime sex partners was for more than half of respondents, more than one partner. Further, the study found that knowledge of HIV/AIDS was poor in some areas and more satisfactory in other areas, but generally was not satisfactory enough to sustain adequate HIV/AIDS response in a context of high and widespread HIV/AIDS prevalence. Gender, tendency to use condoms and being sexually active had no significant relationship to levels of knowledge. HIV/AIDS knowledge was significantly higher in urban than in non-urban schools.


© 2005 Karl Peltzer and Supa Promtussananon. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.