RISKY SEXUAL BEHAVIOUR AT UNIVERSITY LEVEL
By: Cassandra Zungu
An estimated 70 000 condoms are distributed across DUT (Durban University of Technology) almost every month to at least 26 000 of its students which in public areas, residences and HIV/AIDS centres.
That is according to the HIV/AIDS centre at the university which has a number of initiatives that promote awareness and prevention.
Linda Nelson, a nurse at the university’s Isolempilo clinic situated at Steve Biko Campus says this proves that the students are very much sexually active.
“There’s been a high demand for emergency contraception which means students are still having unprotected sex despite the services and prevention methods available for them, said Linda.
There has also been an increase for those who require termination of pregnancies. Linda says some do not even want to go home for holidays because they are afraid. She also communicated that after the 4 week strike at the beginning of the year a few students came in requesting emergency contraception which indicates lack of knowledge.
She also said a number of 1st year students are under a lot of peer pressure. This indicates a high probability of them falling under the same conditions, soon.
The DUT HIV/AIDS Centre has hosted a number of awareness campaigns in each DUT campus, raising awareness on HIV/AIDS testing.
Ndumiso Ngidi, Project Officer at the HIV/AIDS Centre said the turnout is often favourable at their awareness campaigns, trainings and workshops.
The centre for HIV/AIDS at DUT is currently designing student centred and run programmes to create more awareness.
“We are working hard as a department to create awareness and promote non-perilous behaviour and attitudes,” Ngidi added.
Speaking at the launch of the 2013 annual report of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) at the university’s Ritson Campus last week, DUT’s senior director of corporate affairs, Alan Khan revealed alarming statistics.
“One out 100 students living in campus are involved in prostitution, 15 percent of students are abusing drugs and alcohol, with females out-drinking their male counterparts. Almost 10 percent of students are also in “sugar daddy” relations-hips to sustain their drug habits,” said Khan.
The data he revealed was said to be gathered from departments that deal with students which include disciplinary tribunals and campus protection services as well as from residential advisers and through health consultations.
The senior directorate also revealed that Marijuana (weed) and alcohol were most popular substances among students. Khan said most of student’s drug abuse dates back to their childhoods and teenage years.
In his letter to students on Friday, the Vice Chancellor Ahmed Bawa expressed his concern for their wellbeing. He urged students to take advantage of the service provided to them.
“If you are experiencing any of these or any other personal issues, please contact the DUT Student Counselling Centres. Here you will find a team of professional staff who aim to provide a safe, confidential and non-judgmental space to all students,” Bawa added.
Names have been changed