Sexual behaviour and condom use as a protection against sexually transmitted infections in student population
The aim of the study was to determine the differences in sexual behaviour and condom use as a protection against sexually transmitted infections (STI) between the first-year and the last-year students. Data were collected by filling anonymous and consented questionnaire in June of 2011 at University of Josip Juraj Strossmayer in Osijek, Croatia. Out of 857 students in the planned sample, 462 (53.9%) filled out the questionnaire, and 353/462 (76.4%) were sexually active. Data from sexually active students were processed and statistically significant results between first-year and the last-year students were presented. Studied sample consisted of 192/353 (54.4%) first-year students and 161/353 (45.6%) last-year students. Average age of sexual initiation for the first-year students was 17.28±1.29 years, a for the last-year students 18.45±2.14 years, and the difference is significant (Man-Whitney test=10335.00, p<0.01). First-year students have lower number of sexual partners (x2=28.005, p<0.01), during relationship they had lower number of intercourses with the third person (x2=17.947, p<0.01), and feel that lower number of their friends were already sexually active at the time of their own sexual initiation (x2=18.350, p<0.01). First-year students more often inform their partners about existing or previous STI (x2=14.476, p<0.01) and curiosity significantly influenced their decision regarding sexual initiation (x2=8.689, p<0.05). First-year students more often used condom at their first sexual intercourse (x2=7.275, p<0.01), and more rarely used withdrawal (x2=6.380, p<0.05). At their last sexual intercourse, first-year students more often used any kind of protection (x2=3.853, p<0.05),more often used condom (x2=11.110, p<0.01) and withdrawal (x2=5.156, p<0.05), and more rarely used contraceptive pills (x2=4.405, p<0.05). First-year students more often use condom in a permanent relationship (x2=13.384, p<0.05), and also plan to use it during following intercourse in the permanent relationship (x2=17.575, p<0.01). Growing condom use and decreasing risky sexual behaviour among students, as well as other adolescents and young adults needs to be maintained. Youth should learn before sexual initiation that only correct condom use at every sexual intercourse protects them against STI and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Sexual education and STI/HIV prevention programmes, positive role of media (television) and civil organisations that communicate with the youth can help that. Such changes among adolescents and young adults should have to be seen in student population as well.
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