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Sexual habits and risk factors for sexually transmitted diseases among medical students of Palermo’s University in 2010–2011.

  • Autori: Restivo, V.; Marsala, M.; Costantino, C.; Maringhini, G.; Asciutto, R.; Mirabile, E.; Mazzara, V.; Parisi, S.; Calamusa, G.; Firenze, A.; Vitale, F.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2012
  • Tipologia: Proceedings (TIPOLOGIA NON ATTIVA)
  • OA Link:


Background The Residency Program in Hygiene and Preventive Medicine at Palermo’s University has conducted a survey among the students of the local Medical School regarding their knowledge about Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), with the aim to detect possible risk factors frequently associated with STDs. Objectives The study has been conducted with an anonymous questionnaire delivered, during classes, to the students attending the six years of Medical School. The medical residents on Hygiene and Preventive Medicine of the Department of Sciences for Health Promotion at Palermo’s University had previously made a short introduction about the study and its purpose and answered students’ questions. The questionnaire is composed of 5 main sections: demographical data, sexual habits, contraceptive methods, knowledge on STDs, sexual information and education. Results 624 questionnaires were collected from students with a mean age of 21 years old (range 18–35 years-old). 514 students (92%) declared they had sexual intercourse, and 16.8% of them has had intercourse with occasional partners. Among the numerous pathogens responsible for a STD the students acknowledged HIV as the most known, 96% of them, in fact, know the pathogenesis and the natural history of AIDS. The other microorganisms linked to STDs are less known (62% Chlamydia, 82% HBV/HCV; 81% HPV, 83% syphilis). 32% of the study sample stated that they auspicate to receive further information on STDs in the informational and educational campaigns. Conclusions The study has shown good knowledge of AIDS among the interviewed students, in contrast with the poor information on other STDs, even if more common in the general population. This data highlights defects in the management of educational campaigns for the prevention of STDs. Although students improve their knowledge on STDs during Medical School, it does not have to be underestimated the importance to train future doctors on the importance of the prevention of STDs, especially since they are going to be involved in the counseling of at-risk population for STDs.