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Condom Use within Marital and Cohabiting Partnerships in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Pranitha Maharaj and John Cleland
Studies in Family Planning
Vol. 35, No. 2 (Jun., 2004), pp. 116-124
Published by: Population Council
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3181139
Page Count: 9
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Condom Use within Marital and Cohabiting Partnerships in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
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Abstract

Traditionally, the major focus of condom-promotion strategies has been on increasing use outside marriage. This study explores the extent and determinants of condom use within marital and cohabiting partnerships in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. In focus-group discussions, in-depth interviews, and individual survey responses, knowledge of condoms as an effective method of dual protection against the risk of pregnancy and disease was found to be high. Consistent with numerous other studies, this study found widespread disapproval of condom use within marriage. Only 14 percent of men and 17 percent of women reported consistent or "occasional" condom use. Nevertheless, condom use is much higher among urban, more-educated individuals than among their rural, less-educated counterparts. Apart from education, perceived risk of HIV infection from the partner is the most powerful determinant of use within marital and cohabiting partnerships, particularly for women. Resistance to condoms within marital and cohabiting partnerships is not immutable, however, and women may not be as powerless to protect themselves as is often reported.

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