MPhil study projects

An investigation of the factors leading to high sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy rate and new HIV infections at Mangosuthu University of Technology despite the free supply of contraceptives and related services

Student: Ntombenhle Mazibuko

Country: South Africa

This research investigated the persistent high rates of pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and new HIV infections among students at Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT), despite existing preventative measures.

Employing a cross-sectional methodology, the study utilised qualitative interviews alongside transcribed audio recordings and clinical records from MUT. The analysis revealed several key findings: psychological factors, including peer influence and socialisation, significantly impact students’ sexual decision-making; misconceptions and inadequate knowledge regarding STIs, pregnancy and HIV prevention persisted; institutional factors, such as limited accessibility of the MUT clinic due to operational hours, exacerbated the issue.

Recommendations included promoting open communication and consistent condom use among sexual partners, alongside enhanced health education initiatives in the MUT clinic and improvements to its accessibility and availability. These insights underscored the necessity for comprehensive interventions addressing behaviour, information and structural aspects to mitigate the reproductive health challenges faced by MUT students.