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High risk attitudes regarding unprotected sex in students 14 to 21 years of age in a border city of Mexico

Angélica Macías-Macías, MPH1, Ana M. Valles-Medina, MPH1, Adriana Vargas-Ojeda, PhD1, and Consuelo Segura-Gómez, MPH2. (1) School of Medicine, MPH Program, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, Apdo. Postal # 113-A, Mesa de Otay, Tijuana, B.C., México, 22350, Mexico, 52664-6821233, avalles@uabc.mx, (2) Departamento de Salud Reproductiva, ISESALUD: Secretaría de Salud, Av. Constitución # 1641 Zona Centro, Tijuana, B.C., 22000, Mexico

Background: Sexual and reproductive rights of adolescents should be respected, but the reduction of biological, psychological and social risks associated with age is urgent. Methods: A transverse descriptive study was realized using a sample of 428 students between 14 and 21 years of age from a high school in Tijuana, Mexico, to whom a survey was administered to determine knowledge level, opinions and behaviors regarding unprotected sex. Results: 50% of students interviewed admitted not knowing how to properly use a condom; 9% believe one could be reused. 74.6% of students believe the media sends messages promoting early initiation of sexual practice. 91.4% report feeling no peer pressure to engage in sex, but males reported feeling more pressure than females (p=0.001). We found the mean age of initiation of sexual relations to be 15.6 years SD=1.35. Of the total population studied, 24% (102) reported having already had sex. Of these, 67.6% (69) used a condom in their first encounter, and 20.6% (21) used no protection. Seven of 102 sexually active students reported having had a sexually transmitted disease. Five of 102 had had an abortion. 8% mentioned having had sexual relations under the influence of alcohol, and 6% against their will. Conclusions: Although no significant difference was revealed between knowledge level and risky behaviors, many informational deficits exist that could lead to high risk of infection and pregnancy in adolescents. In our country, there is a lack of emphasis on educational programs regarding human sexuality between preschool and high school.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Adolescents, International, Sexual Risk Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Not Answered

Taking Care of Mothers

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA