Risk factors sexual behaviour and C. trachomatis infection among Health Sciences University students in Lisbon

Z Magalhães , R Castro, F Pereira

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Background: Individuals between 15 and 24 years of age are at higher risk of acquiring Chlamydia trachomatis infection. The objectives of this study were to describe risk taking sexual behaviour and the presence of C. Trachomatis in health sciences university students in Lisbon.
Methods: We included 308 university students. An anonymous selfadministered
questionnaire was provided with questions referring to risk taking sexual behaviour. A PCR technique was used in urine samples to identify chlamydial DNA. Blood was taken for anti- C. trachomatis antibodies testing.
Results: A significant statistical difference between sexes (p =0,001) was found for the age of the first sexual contact (minimum age for males - 13 and for females - 15). The median number of sexual partners during the last six months was one, although 23.5% of males and 10.2% of women had more than one sexual partner (difference between genders statistically significant - p = 0.001). Only 33.4%, 5.2% and 34.2% participants referred to use a condom for vaginal, oral or anal intercourse, respectively. Around 40% and 8% of the students admitted to have sexual intercourse under the effect of alcohol or drugs use, respectively. Information on STI was obtained from friends in 51%, followed by books and magazines (47.9%). C. trachomatis DNA was not identified. IgG anti-C. trachomatis antibodies were present in 14.4%.
Conclusions: The high risk taking sexual behaviour, namely the early age of first sexual contact, the high number of sexual partners, specially between males, the low rate of condom use and the high number of students assuming to have sexual intercourse under alcohol or drugs, suggests basic preventive measures and education on STI are urgently needed.
The finding of IgG anti- C. trachomatis antibodies, together with the aspects cited above, also suggests that a high number of females in this group may be at high risk of developing tubal damage.
Original languageEnglish
Article number005
JournalJournal of infectious Diseases and Epidemiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • STI risk taking behaviour
  • Student’s sexual behaviour
  • Knowledge gaps STI


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