Indian Journal of Dermatology
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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 67  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 625

The Sexual behavior and protective conduct among university students in Germany - Chances and approaches to tackle spread of sexually transmitted diseases

Department of Dermatology and Allergology, University Hospital, LMU Munich Frauenlobstr, 9-11, 80337 Munich, Germany

Correspondence Address:
Markus Reinholz
Department of Dermatology and Allergy, University Hospital, LMU Munich, Frauenlobstr, 9–11, 80337 Munich
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijd.ijd_107_22

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Background: Current case numbers of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in Germany are continuously increasing. Young adults aged 19–29 appear to be especially at risk and are therefore the demographic of ever-growing importance for future prevention work. Objective: The aim of the survey was to analyze awareness and protective behavior regarding sexually transmitted infections with a major focus on condom-usage by university students in Germany. Method: The collection of data was based on the conduction of a cross-sectional survey for students of Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, the Technical University Munich, and the University of Bavarian Economy. The survey was distributed via the professional online survey tool “Soscy” and was thus performed completely anonymized. Results: Within this study, a total of 1,020 questionnaires were collected and consecutively analyzed. In terms of knowledge about human immunodeficiency viruses (HIV), over 96.0% of participants were aware that vaginal intercourse can be a source of transmission for both sex partners and that condom use can be preventive. In contrast, 33.0% were unaware that smear infections constitute a crucial transmission route of human papillomaviruses (HPV). Concerning protective behavior, 25.2% either rarely or did not use a condom in their sexual history, even though 94.6% agreed that condoms protect against STIs. Conclusion: This study outlines the importance of education and prevention work that focuses on STIs. Results might reflect effectiveness of previous education efforts made by several prevention campaigns targeting HIV. On the downside, knowledge of other pathogens that establish STIs appears worthy of improvement, especially considering the partially risky sexual behavior observed. Therefore, we see a strong need to reform education, guidance, and prevention strategies in a way that emphasizes not only all pathogens and connected STIs equally, but also a differentiated presentation of sexuality providing appropriate protection strategies for everyone.

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