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PeerJ. 2016 Feb 25;4:e1699. doi: 10.7717/peerj.1699. eCollection 2016.

Sexual behaviour and risk of sexually transmitted infections in young female healthcare students in Spain.

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Department of Clinical Medicine, Miguel Hernández University , San Juan de Alicante, Alicante , Spain.
Department of Pathology and Surgery, Miguel Hernández University , San Juan de Alicante, Alicante , Spain.
Department of Education, San Antonio Catholic University , Murcia , Spain.
Centre for Information and AIDS Prevention, Conselleria de Sanitat , Alicante , Spain.
Department of Nursing, University of Salamanca , Salamanca , Spain.


Background. Several authors have examined the risk for sexually transmitted infections (STI), but no study has yet analyzed it solely in relation with sexual behaviour in women. We analyzed the association of sexual behaviour with STI risk in female university students of healthcare sciences. Methods. We designed a cross-sectional study assessing over three months vaginal intercourse with a man. The study involved 175 female university students, without a stable partner, studying healthcare sciences in Spain.


STI risk (not always using male condoms). Secondary variables: sexual behaviour, method of orgasm, desire to increase the frequency of sexual relations, desire to have more variety in sexual relations, frequency of sexual intercourse with the partner, and age. The information was collected with an original questionnaire. A logistic regression model was used to estimate the adjusted odds ratios (ORs) in order to analyze the association between the STI risk and the study variables. Results. Of the 175 women, 52 were positive for STI risk (29.7%, 95% CI [22.9-36.5%]). Factors significantly associated with STI risk (p < 0.05) included: orgasm (not having orgasms →OR = 7.01, 95% CI [1.49-33.00]; several methods →OR = 0.77, 95% CI [0.31-1.90]; one single method →OR = 1; p = 0.008) and desiring an increased frequency of sexual activities (OR = 0.27, 95% CI [0.13-0.59], p < 0.001). Conclusions. Women's desire for sexual activities and their sexual function were significant predictors of their risk for STI. Information about sexual function is an intrinsic aspect of sexual behaviour and should be taken into consideration when seeking approaches to reduce risks for STI.


Condoms; Sexual behaviour; Sexual partners; Sexually transmitted diseases; Women

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