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Open Access Research article

Perceived family support regarding condom use and condom use among secondary school female students in Limbe urban city of Cameroon

Elvis E Tarkang

Author Affiliations

HIV/AIDS Prevention Research Network, Cameroon (HIVPREC), Opposite Premier Pharmacy, Commonwealth Avenue, P.O Box 36, Kumba, Cameroon

BMC Public Health 2014, 14:173  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-173

Published: 18 February 2014

Abstract

Background

HIV/AIDS prevention programs rooted in the social cognitive models are based on the theoretical assumptions that adoption of preventive behaviour (condom use) depends on the individual’s perceptions of their susceptibility to HIV/AIDS and the benefits of condom use. However some studies contend that applying such models in the African setting may not be that simple considering that in many societies, people’s capacity to initiate health enhancing behaviour are mediated by power relations (parents/guardians) and socialisation processes that are beyond the control of individuals. The relative influence of these family forces on condom use is however unknown in Cameroon. In this study it is hypothesized that adolescents’ perceptions of family support for condom use, would encourage condom use among female students in Limbe urban city of Cameroon.

Methods

A cross-sectional study of a probability sample of 210 female students selected from three participating secondary school was adopted, using a self-administered questionnaire to collect data. Pearson Chi-square statistics was used to test association between perceived family support for condom use and condom use. Statistics were calculated using SPSS version 20 software program.

Results

Of the respondents, 56.2% reported being sexually active. Of these, 27.4% reported using condoms consistently; 39.1% reported having used condoms during their first sexual intercourse, while 48.7% reported having used condoms during their last sexual intercourse. Majority of the female students exhibited positive perceptions regarding family support for condom use. Respondents who agreed that they feel themselves free to discuss condom use with their parents or any adult member of the family, reported more condom use during first sex than those who disagreed (X2 = 13.021; df = 6; p = 0.043). Likewise respondents who agreed that they feel themselves free to discuss condom use with their parents or any adult member of the family, reported more condom use at least once, than those who disagreed (X2 = 8.755; df = 3; p = 0.033).

Conclusion

Significant associations between perceptions of family support for condom use and condom use were established in this study. This finding suggests that regardless of the sexual communication patterns within the family, techniques that increase the occurrence of parent and female student’s discussion concerning condoms and HIV/AIDS will prove useful in preventing HIV/AIDS among female students in Limbe Urban City of Cameroon.