Being a young woman, experiencing gender-based violence, not living with your spouse, and living in KwaZulu-Natal can increase your chances of unplanned pregnancies – new study from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) suggests.
According to a review of nine studies that recorded the predictors of negative sexual and reproductive health in young women over the past 20 years, physical and sexual abuse were identified as the main predictors of unwanted pregnancies while they were HIV positive has been linked to human papillomavirus (HPV) infections.
The researchers also showed that drinking and herpes simplex virus were predictors of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and bacterial vaginosis while having a sexual partner reported with an STI as a predictor of concurrent HPV infection and STIs.
The results also showed that young women at the age of vo n 20 to 24 years of age, those with less education and those who live in urban areas, m ore is likely to be infected with HIV compared to its counterparts in rural areas.
The researchers who conducted the study in African Journal of Primary Healthcare and Family Medicine argued that SA, one of the countries in Africa, “is a major contributor to the continual increase in negative effects on sexual and reproductive health,” including unwanted pregnancy, STIs and HIV. They argue that this may be due to the high prevalence of early sexual debut among young women. Sexually transmitted infections and HIV prevalence were also higher in young SA women, with about 10% STI and 21% HIV prevalence.
They said the results of this review could help steer policy makers the development of targeted interventions will determine “that will address the negative effects on the sexual and reproductive health of young women in South Africa, as no study in South Africa has been able to support this.”
“We found that higher education, No cohabitation with a spouse who lived in the province of KwaZulu-Natal and who had a steady partner were predictors of unwanted pregnancies in young women in South Africa. Additionally, our study reported that condom use during sexual intercourse has been reported as a predictor of HIV for the past five years, “noted lead researcher Obasanjo Afolabi Bolarinwa and co-researcher Tlou Boikhutso.
They said , the latest knowledge is important to policy development and public health. “The predictors of adverse sexual and reproductive health in young women identified in this study are important in developing necessary interventions and guidelines to halt their continued rise.
” Among the identified predictors of adverse sexual and reproductive health reproductive health outcomes is that gender-based violence was prevalent in unwanted pregnancies, while alcohol consumption has been identified as a common predictor of unwanted pregnancies as well as STIs and anti-gender violence, with particular focus on marginalized urban and rural communities / p>
“This requires the attention of policymakers, governments, NGOs and key stakeholders in policymaking. Behavioral and social policies aimed at eliminating gender-based violence and alcohol abuse in young women. ”
“ The results also identified residential areas and other health behavioral factors as predictors of adverse sexual and reproductive health. This will provide public health providers with the blueprint to guide their programs and interventions and will help ensure optimal use of scarce resources to reduce negative effects on sexual and reproductive health. ”