Factors Influencing HIV/AIDS and Risky Sexual Behaviour Among Learners in South Africa

  •  Pelonomi F. Malga    
  •  Boitumelo Marilyn Setlalentoa    
  •  Choja Oduaran    
  •  Nopasika Maforah    


HIV/AIDS is a global health concern and young people are more at risk of being infected. The explored factors that contribute to HIV/AIDS and risky sexual behaviour among learners aged 12-18 years in Vuyolwethu High School. The study focused on learners who were in Grade 10-12. This study employed a mixed method research. Quantitative phase was limited to learners while the qualitative phase focused on life-orientation teachers. The total study sample is 150, and the gender distribution is equally distributed at 50% for both males and females. The dominating age and grade among respondents is age 17-18 years and grade 11. Quantitative data were subjected to descriptive analyses while thematic analysis is employed for analysis of qualitative data. Overall, about 51.3% of the respondents strongly agreed that engaging in sexual intercourse without protection is risky, and that unprotected sexual activity can lead to unwanted sexual encounters, unwanted teenage pregnancy and HIV/AIDS. Similarly, substance abuse is found to be a key factor that influences risky sexual behaviour among adolescents, thus resulting to unwanted pregnancies and HIV/AIDS infection. The main conclusion drawn from the findings is that while adolescents seem to be knowledgeable on the factors that contribute to risky sexual behaviour, this knowledge does not lead to attitude change. It is therefore recommended, based on the study’s findings, that there should be more focused training programmes directed not only at knowledge but also attitude and behaviour change.

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