When it comes to protected sex, a survey of high-risk festival goers found lots of confidence but not a lot of know-how.
A significant number of young people attending a NSW festival had used condoms inconsistently or incorrectly, resulting in high rates of condom failures and heightening the risk of sexually transmitted infections.
While more than seven out of ten said they were confident with their condom practices, 37 per cent had experienced condom breakage in the past year, 48 per cent had seen a condom slip off during intercourse, and 51 per cent when withdrawing the penis after sex.
The survey also found that only one out of five respondents said they always used condoms during sex in the past 12 months and that more than 90 per cent had had sex under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
This poses significant risks of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), specifically chlamydia and HIV, and unwanted pregnancies, according to researchers from the University Centre for Rural Health North Coast (UCRH), Western Sydney University and the North Coast Public Health Unit.
“To our knowledge this is the first study to demonstrate that young Australian festival attendees, as an identified risk group, may be experiencing a significantly higher rate of problems when using condoms,” said UCRH researcher Dr Sabrina Pit.
“Despite reasonable levels of confidence in their ability to use condoms, inconsistent use and a high rate of condom failure put this population at an increased risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections.”
The researchers say the survey highlights the need for health promotion campaigns targeting this group.
You can read more about the survey results here. Story credit: Western Sydney University newsroom.
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