THE PREVALENCE OF CONDOM USAGE AND ITS ASSOCIATED FACTORS AMONGST THE YOUTHS IN THE MOLYKO COMMUNITY
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Background: The twin risk of unwanted pregnancy, contraction of STIs and HIV/AIDS infection is a central concern of reproductive health programmers. Condoms are considered an effective barrier method because they can be used for the dual purpose of protecting against pregnancy and disease transmission.
Despite widespread knowledge that condom offer protection against STIs/HIV and unintended pregnancy when used correctly and consistently many people do not regularly use condoms ,thus leading to new sexually transmitted infections, including STIs, HIV and AIDS. Thus the aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of condom usage and associated factors among youths in the Molyko community among sexually active people.
Methodology: A descriptive cross-sectional community- based study was conducted using a stratified sampling technique from June to July 2021. Pre-tested structured questionnaire was used to test the accuracy of the data collected. Data were then collected from 334 respondents. The data were cleaned, coded and entered into Microsoft 2016.
RESULTS: The prevalence of condom is 67.4%, and 26% regularly and 89.9% on knowledge on STIs, HIV and 90.1% of the consequences of non-using condom.
Conclusion: The finding of this study shows that the prevalence of condom usage among youth in Molyko community is high but due to associated factors hindering them only 26% use it regularly. Therefore, more health campaign should be done on the usage of condoms in order to prevent the rate of unintended pregnancy and STIs including HIV/AIDS.
This chapter presents the background of the study, statement of the problem, general and specific objectives, research questions, the significance of the study, scope of study and operational definition.
1.1 Background of the study
In 1839, inventor Charles Goodyear discovered rubber vulcanization, the technology of which led to the creation of the first rubber condoms in 1855. Rubber condoms gained popularity in the mid-19th century, and in the early 20th century major advances were made in manufacturing techniques prior to the introduction of the combined oral contraceptive pill, condoms were the most popular birth control method in the western world. Since then, condom has been used to protect against sexually transmitted infection and to prevent unwanted pregnancy (Himes, 1963).
During World War One, for example, United States allies, including New Zealand, gave their troops condom to prevent sexually transmitted infection. But social hygienists in the United States forced the American Expeditionary Forces to adopt a chastity campaign; they were opposed to any prophylactic prevention of sexually transmitted infection. Consequently, in 1919 alone, United State troops reported a year admissions rate of 766.55/1000 for sexually transmitted infections (Brandt, 1985).
Moreover, certain anti-choice radicals have even distorted scientific fact in order to discourage condom use. Three myths propagated in this anti-condom misinformation campaign are particularly dangerous. The first myths purports that talking about condoms or giving women condoms, especially the youths will make them sexually promiscuous (Hartigan., 1997).
The second claims that condoms cause AIDS because HIV allegedly passes through microscopic pores in the latex. The third blame condoms for cervical cancer (Lerner et al., 1999). These myths are now so widespread that they are recited in congress and have been incorporated into the sexuality education programs of more than a third of United State schools (Darroch et al., 2000).
But none of these myths are true. The effectiveness of condoms against unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection has long been established. Further, information about and access to condoms clearly do not increase sexual activity among adolescents (Kirby, 1998). Condoms is an important multipurpose prevention technology (MPT) combining protection against unintended pregnancy, HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) (Warren, 2014), and are the only female-initiated HIV prevention barrier method. Condoms protect against pregnancy 95% of the time during perfect use, and 79% of the time during typical use (World Health Organization., 2018).
However, despite the increase in condom distribution globally(Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition., 2018), distribution still remains low relative to male condoms accounting for only 0.19% of global condom procurement (United Nations Population Fund., 2011). Lack of commitment by major donors to support condom programming has meant condoms especially female condoms have not been an accessible prevention option in many countries (Peters et al., 2010). The South African government launched a formal, three-phase of condom introduction programmed” in 1998 (Mqhayi et al., 2003) which focused initially on family planning clinics, promoting the female and male condom as a dual method for preventing pregnancy and disease (Mantell et al., 2012).
World Health organization also review of 19 studies found no evidence that sexuality education programs lead to earlier or increased sexual activity among teens (NCHSTP, 1996). But easy access to female and male condoms does encourage condom use among teens that are already sexually active (Blake et al., 2003).
In fact, adolescents who use condoms the first time they have vaginal intercourse do not have more partners, are more likely to protect themselves and their partners, and are less likely to get sexually transmitted infection than adolescents who do not use condoms the first time they have vaginal intercourse (Shafii et al., 2007). Also, according to Hebernick et al. (2010) teens need protection because more than 60% of young women and men in Cameroon have had sexual intercourse by the age of 19. And the truth is that there is a high probability for them to contract sexually transmitted infection or unintended pregnancy of which condoms offer the best protection against this infection (Stone et al., 1999).
Furthermore, most reports of condom failure are the result of inconsistent or incorrect use, not breakage (Macaluso et al., 1999). Also Condoms failure rates are also inflated because some young people use condoms incorrectly, and respond to survey questions with what they perceive to be socially desirable answers (Rose et al., 2009) in fact, most people who use condoms do not experience breakage or slippage, most condom failure occurs among a minority of users because they are less experienced and or less careful about using condoms than more successful user (Steiner et al., 1994).
Moreover, condoms are also effective, inexpensive form of birth control , just imagine that of 100 woman who uses condom inconsistently or imperfectly, 18 will become pregnant in the first year of use, only two will become pregnant if condom are used perfectly (Trussell, 2011). In addition, the advantages of condom as birth control include low cost, easy access, simple disposal, minimal side effects, and longer-lasting sex play. Also using condom can also enhance sexual pleasure by reducing anxieties about the risk of infection and pregnancy (Warner et al., 1998). Even in the Catholic Church, which had long forbidden condoms as a means of birth control, leaders have begun to endorse themselves in very particular circumstances (Trussell., 2011).
The prevention of pregnancy is an integral part of modern medical practice and is of major public health interest; furthermore, a study by Hussain et al. (2014) revealed that approximately 85million women worldwide experienced unintended pregnancies. Condoms are physical barriers that can reduce the risk of a sexual exposure to HIV and other sexually transmissible infections because they are made of materials that do not allow microbes to pass through them. This makes condoms a highly effective strategy to reduce the risk of HIV transmission when used consistently and correctly (Hooton et al., 2008).
The World health organization supports a combination of approaches to prevent the sexual transmission of HIV including correct and consistent condom use, reduction in the number of sexual partners, HIV testing and counseling, delaying sexual debut, treatment for STIs and male circumcision (WHO, 2009).
Furthermore, since abstinence has failed as family planning method, the use of condom should be encouraged in order to prevent unintended pregnancy (American Academy Pediatrics., 2013).The loss of young adults will adversely affect the overall economic development, since they constitute the bulk of the workforce. Hence, the use of these condoms should be implemented among youths in order to reduce the spread of STIs (Center of disease control, 2005). Furthermore, despite the risks of contracting HIV/AIDS and unintended pregnancy among youth in Cameroon, consistent condom use has remained fairly low. Moreover, estimated condom use among youths at 31%.The vulnerability of Cameroonian Youth to HIV infection and unwanted pregnancy necessitates the development of interventions that reduce sexual risk behaviors. To develop such interventions, knowledge of predictors of consistent condom use is indispensable (Weller et al., 2013).
1.2 Problem statements.
Despite the success of the use of condom as a family planning method, there is still an increase in failure rate especially the female condom. The youths are at high risk of sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancy because of little or no parental or administrative prohibition of the importance of condom usage as preventive measures of unintended pregnancy (Sauya et al., 2014).
In Cameroon according to the UNICEF census from 2008 to 2012, the prevalence of condom is usage is 66.5%, which falls far below the WHO minimum target of 90%. Also, Hebernick et al., (2010), concluded that teens need protection because more than 60% of young women and men in Cameroon have had sexual intercourse by the age of 19. Stone et al. (1999) concluded that there is a high probability for young adults to contract sexually transmitted infection and unintended pregnancy of and condoms offer the best protection against these infections.
However, a major difficulty in studying the impact of family background on youth sexuality is that in many African societies culturally entrenched norms and values inhibit discussion of the issue of adolescent sexuality (Sauya et al., 2014). Furthermore, many parents are against teaching of sexually related health issues to their children especially their female children for fear that it will encourage the young to experiment sexually of which it is not true (Darroch et al., 2016).
A study by Cumber and Tsoka-Gwegweni (2015) in Cameroon revealed that though 90% knew of condoms, only 15.5% knew that it could prevent HIV and the most damming of all, only 6% reported to have used condoms in their last sexual intercourse. Furthermore, Halle-Ekane, (2015) in the Buea Health District South West Region of Cameroon he carryout a study on the prevalence of teen pregnancy which stood at13.32%. Another study in Cameroon by Wirsiy, (2019) revealed that adolescent pregnancy stood at 26% but due to longevity there is an increase trend of teenage pregnancy from 13.32% to 26%.
Moreover, this study will help to explore knowledge and practice on the effective use of condom for dual protection in order to improve its use as a family planning method and reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infection which could predispose young women to criminal abortion and even death.
This is not so different from the researcher owns experience of losing a mate during the process of criminal abortion whereby she got pregnant and did want the parents to know that she was pregnant and decided to abort it of which if she or the boy friend could have used condom consistently and correctly she would have not getting pregnant. It is against this backdrop that the researcher seeks to carry out a research in order to determine the prevalence of condom usage and its associate factor among the youths in the Molyko community.
1.3 Research objective:
This study is aimed at assessing the prevalence of condom usage in the Molyko community.
1.3.1 Specific objectives of the study
- To determine the youths’ (18-35) knowledge of the effective use of condoms in the Molyko community.
- To determine the prevalence of condom usage amongst youths (18-35) in the Molyko community.
- To determine the factors that influence the use of condoms amongst youths (18-35) in the Molyko community.
- To identify the consequences of the non-use of condoms in the Molyko community.