Quarterly scientific journal

Knowledge and attitudes of women regarding Sexually Transmitted Diseases, sexual health and preventive controls

Evaggelia Voltsi , Maria Lamprinakou , Margarita Liopa , Maria Rekleiti , Maria Saridi , Kyriakos Souliotis

Abstract

Both Greek and international literature suggest there is an increase in STDs worldwide, something that has motivated health agencies to design health promotion strategies. Aim: The aim of the present study was to assess knowledge and attitudes of women regarding STDs, as well as to correlate the findings with their sexual activity and gynecologic symptoms. Materials and Methods: Our reference population comprised of women residing in the city of Corinth. A specialized, valid and anonymous questionnaire was used, that included items concerning gynecologic diseases, STDs, prevention measures and birth control methods. Data collection took place from March to May 2013 and the SPSS 17.0 was used for the statistical analysis. Results: The majority of our sample (n=214) consisted of women aged 20 or younger (40.2%), without children (65.1%). 56.7% of the participants initiated sexual relationships at age 18 or older, while 55.2% said they always used condoms. Regarding STD history, 76.40% reported no such history. 67% thought that condoms were the safest birth control method, 64.4% said that casual relationships were the main cause for STD infections, 47.1% said that Pap tests should be done after menstruation, and 65.1% that mammograms should be a routine examination after the age of 30. Also, 65.4% of the participants said they consulted their gynecologist for anything regarding prevention examinations or gynecologic conditions. Conclusions: Despite some limitations, the present study concludes that many, mainly younger, women lack important information on such subjects and adopt high-risk behaviors. Consequently, the implementation of targeted, nation-wide sexual health programs and pre-symptomatic testing is deemed necessary.

Keywords: Αdults, knowledge, prevention, risk behaviors, sexually transmitted disease

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