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Sources of social support and sexual behaviour advice for young adults in rural South Africa

Harling, GD; Gumede, D; Shahmanesh, M; Pillay, D; Bärnighausen, T; Tanser, F; (2018) Sources of social support and sexual behaviour advice for young adults in rural South Africa. BMJ Global Health , 3 , Article e000955. 10.1136/bmjgh-2018-000955. Green open access

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Abstract

Introduction While young people in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are at greatest risk of HIV acquisition, uptake of HIV prevention interventions among them has been limited. Interventions delivered through social connections have changed behaviour in many settings, but not to date in SSA. There is little systematic evidence on whom young SSA adults turn to for advice. We therefore conducted an exploratory cross-sectional study from whom young rural South Africans received support and sexual behaviourspecific advice. Methods We asked 119 18–34 year olds in rural KwaZulu-Natal about the important people in their lives who provided emotional, informational, financial, physical, social or other support. We also asked whether they had discussed sex or HIV prevention with each contact named. We used descriptive statistics and logistic regression to analyse support and advice provision patterns. Results Respondents named 394 important contacts, each providing a mean of 1.7 types of support. Most contacts were relatives, same-gender friends or romantic partners. Relatives provided most informational, financial and physical support; friends and partners more social support and sexual advice. Respondents reported discussing sexual matters with 60% of contacts. Sources of support changed with age, from friends and parents, towards siblings and partners. Discussion Sexual health interventions for young adults in rural South Africa may be able to harness friend and samegeneration kin social ties through which sex is already discussed, and parental ties through which other forms of support are transmitted. The gender-segregated nature of social connections may require separate interventions for men and women.

Type: Article
Title: Sources of social support and sexual behaviour advice for young adults in rural South Africa
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1136/bmjgh-2018-000955
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjgh-2018-000955
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2018. Re-use permitted under CC BY. Published by BMJ. This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to copy, redistribute, remix, transform and build upon this work for any purpose, provided the original work is properly cited, a link to the licence is given, and indication of whether changes were made. See: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Infection and Immunity
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health > Infection and Population Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10062224
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