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J Reprod Infertil. 2015 Jan-Mar;16(1):43-8.

Sexual and Reproductive Behaviors among Undergraduate University Students in Mashhad, a City in Northeast of Iran.

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Research Center for HIV/AIDS, HTLV and Viral Hepatitis, Iranian Academic Center for Education, Culture & Research (ACECR), Mashhad Branch, Mashhad, Iran.



The incidence of sexual transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV/AIDS is globally higher in young people. This study evaluated the prevalence of sexual reproductive behaviors among undergraduate students of Mashhad, Iran.


The study was conducted on 605 students in twelve non-medical faculties of a great university of Mashhad. A self-administered questionnaire was completed on demographic information, sexual contact in the lifetime and during the last three months, and age of first sex. Kaplan-Meier statistic was used to calculate the mean age of initiation of sex. A p < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.


After exclusion of individuals over 25 years of age, among 590 students with a mean age of 20.8±1.5 years included in the analysis, 71.4% were female and 85.3% were single. Prevalence of at least one sexual contact in life was 15.1% and 35.3% of single sexually experienced students reported to have sex in the last three months. The lifetime prevalence of sexual relationship in males was significantly higher than females (32.9% vs. 7.6%, p < 0.001). The mean age of first sexual experience was 23.7 years with a significant difference between both sexes (p < 0.001). In single sexually experienced students, the mean age at first sex was 17.6±3.3 years, 24% started sexual activity at <15 years, 34.3% had at least 3 partners and only 40.6% stated using condom in their last sex.


Although very small proportion of females reported premarital sex, a significant minority of male students experienced sexual and risky behaviors. Therefore, the use of educational programs on related issues to reduce the risk of STIs/HIV among youth including university students seems to be a necessity.


Adolescent; Iran; Mashhad; Reproductive behavior; Risk-taking; Sexual behavior; Students


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