Low functional health literacy, misconceptions and risks regarding prevention of unintended pregnancy, STIs, HIV and AIDS

04 Nov 2015

The risk of experiencing an unintended pregnancy, STIs, HIV and AIDS is exacerbated when low literacy level, low functional health literacy level and misconceptions prevail as barriers to accessing primary health care services and learning about the correct use of and adherence to medicine regimens. Sometimes the source of misconception on the risks regarding unintended pregnancy, STIs, HIV and AIDS are low literacy and health literacy. This study explored the experiences of females who utilise reproductive health promotion services and the experiences of reproductive health care providers regarding the provision of reproductive health services in a primary health care setting. A qualitative, descriptive phenomenological design was used. A sample of 36 participants (11 health care providers and 25 females) who utilise the primary health care facility, was drawn through purposive sampling. Individual and focus group interviews were conducted. Tesch’s data analysis method was used. Ethical principles were observed and trustworthiness was ensured. The themes that emerged confirmed that low health literacy levels were related to unsafe sex practices, specifically, unprotected sex. It is recommended that a health literacy assessment tool for reproductive health be developed to reduce reproductive health problems associated with low health literacy levels.