Socio-Demographic Determinants of Condom Use Among Sexually Active Young Adults in Rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Natsayi Z Chimbindi*, Nuala McGrath, Kobus Herbst, Khin San Tint, Marie-Louise Newell
Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

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© Chimbindi et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa; Tel: +27 35 550 7500; Fax: +27 35 550 7503; E-mails:,



To investigate patterns, levels and socio-demographic determinants of condom use and consistency of use among young adults aged 15-24 years.


Condoms are known to prevent HIV infection. However, HIV prevalence and incidence remain high.


This study was conducted in the Africa Centre Demographic Surveillance Area (ACDSA) in rural KwaZulu-Natal. Analysis focused on resident young adults aged 15-24 years in 2005. In univariable and multivariable analyses, determinants of condom use and consistency of use among 15-24 year olds were estimated using data collected in 2005. ‘Ever’ condom use was defined as the proportion who reported having used a condom; consistent use among those ever using as “always” using condoms with most recent partner in the last year.


3,914 participants aged 15-24 years reported ever having sex, of whom 52% reported condom use. Adjusting for age, sex, number of partners, residence of partner, partner age difference, type of partner and socio-economic status (SES), having an older partner decreased likelihood (aOR=0.69, p<0.01), while belonging to a household in a higher SES increased likelihood of ever using condoms (aOR=1.82, p<0.01). Being female (aOR=0.61 p<0.01) and having a regular partner (aOR=0.65 p<0.01) were independently associated with low consistent condom use.


In this rural South African setting, condom use remains low, especially among females and with an older partner, situations commonly associated with increased HIV acquisition. Targeted supportive interventions to increase condom use need to be developed if HIV prevention programmes are to be successful.

Keywords: AIDS, condom use, consistency, determinants, HIV, South Africa..