Published on: 16/10/2019

Nzululwazi learners and young people in the community are sexually active from an early age. Many stakeholders acknowledge that learners reflect the norms and values of the surrounding community. Most are motivated to have sex out of curiosity. While instances of coerced sex appear low, the influence of others plays an important role. Levels of SRH risk are linked to living circumstances, with boarders more vulnerable. The Child Support Grant has diminished learners’ fear of pregnancy and many now regard it as ‘fashionable’ to get pregnant and are more concerned about HIV and AIDS. Some see cultural beliefs as the cause of the problem, while others cite modernity and the undermining of tradition. Virginity testing (Inciyo) is generally avoided or subverted. Learners claimed high (87%) use of contraception, with about half using condoms, while approximately 18% use the injection and very few use other forms of contraception. HIV and AIDS are now less feared due to the availability of treatment and the fact that stigma has diminished. While learners appear to have broad knowledge of HIV and AIDS, the majority have a very poor understanding of HIV and AIDS transmission risks. Forty-eight percent of the learners expressed the need for more knowledge about STIs and HIV and AIDS.