38 per cent of young Australians at risk of acquiring an STI

Burnet Institute

23 October, 2013

Young people complete the sexual health and drug use survey at this year's Big Day Out.

Burnet Institute research shows that 38 per cent of young Australians are at risk of acquiring a sexually transmitted infection (STI), but most don’t accurately perceive they are at risk.

Centre for Population Health research assistant, Alyce Vella is presenting a research poster at the Australasian Sexual Health Conference in Darwin.

Ms Vella said the research assessed 1,660 young people aged 16 to 29 years through surveys at the Big Day Out music festival in Melbourne in 2010 and 2013.

Participants completed a short questionnaire about their sexual risk behaviour and drug use, which specifically asked if they thought it likely they could acquire an STI.

“Young people that didn’t always use condoms with new sexual partners and those with higher levels of STI awareness were almost twice as likely to accurately predict their risk of an STI,” Ms Vella explained.

“Interestingly, those who had used illicit drugs in the past month were three times more likely than those not aware to accurately predict their risk.”

She said these findings suggest that interventions to increase sexual health knowledge may be a useful strategy in improving personal risk assessment.

Burnet Institute will continue this research at the 2014 Big Day Out, marking the 10th year surveying young people at the festival.

CLICK HERE to find out more about Burnet’s Big Day Out survey.

Contact Details

For more information in relation to this news article, please contact:

Doctor Megan SC Lim

Deputy Program Director, Behaviours and Health Risks; Preventive Health Research Fellow




[email protected]

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