Risky sexual behaviour leading to surge in Gauteng STI cases

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The Gauteng Health Department has identified risky sexual behaviour among young people as a significant factor contributing to the increase in sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the province.

The warning comes in response to a rise in STI cases reported in areas such as Johannesburg, Sedibeng, Ekurhuleni and Tshwane.

Clinical Manager for HIV and AIDS, STIs, and TB at the Gauteng Department of Health,  Dr. Nombuso Madonsela,  attributes the surge to risky behaviour and substance abuse. Madonsela has emphasised the need to educate the public about the consequences of unprotected sex and the associated transmission of STIs.

“The main cause is really risky behaviour; we need to teach our people that having unprotected sex will result in sexually transmitted infections. What we’ve seen is that there is a high incidence of risky behaviour resulting in STIs because of the nature of the areas. In Johannesburg inner city, we’ve got sex workers, we’ve got our TVETs and we’ve got our young people in the universities. It all culminates in risky behaviour, with substance abuse, and the non-use of condoms or using condoms intermittently,” she says.

The department issued a warning, urging individuals to refrain from engaging in risky sexual behaviour to curb the transmission of STIs and HIV infections. Young people, in particular, were advised to use protection and exercise caution.

Additionally, the department expressed concern about the number of pregnant women testing positive for syphilis when presenting to public healthcare facilities.

Gauteng Health Dept warns against risky sexual behaviour: