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Revista de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 0124-0064

Abstract

GOMEZ-CAMARGO, Doris E. et al. Sexual and reproductive health in university students at an institution of higher learning in Colombia. Rev. salud pública [online]. 2014, vol.16, n.5, pp.660-672. ISSN 0124-0064.  http://dx.doi.org/10.15446/rsap.v16n5.39998.

Objective To investigate the state of sexual and reproductive health in students at a public university in the Colombian Caribbean, with an emphasis on sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), fertility, sexuality, pregnancy and violence. Methods Cross-sectional survey study. University students, enrolled in the second semester of 2010 and who completed a self-administered survey based on the Reproductive Health survey of the Pan American Health Organization, were selected. Qualitative data was tabulated and graphed using measures of central tendency for quantitative variables. Results The age of population studied was around 20 years old, came from the urban area (57.9 %; IC95 %=54.7-61.1), was predominantly heterosexual (89.7 %), with an age of initiation of sexual activity of less than 18 years old, 11.8 % promiscuity, mainly using the condom as a Family Planning Method (FPM) (55 %). Although they had prior information on sexual health, STDs and FPMs, they did not behave according to this due to low education about HIV transmission routes, low incidence of serological tests for STDs, and high risk behavior (sex/alcohol/drugs). It was observed that 12.3 % had a history of pregnancy, physical violence (21.6 %) and sexual violence (4.6 %) with a predominant silence from the victims of sexual abuse (61.8 %). Conclusion The sample reflects the student population in this region of Colombia. We plan to organize a health program with medical and psychological support to reduce the rates of STDs and unplanned pregnancies, preparing the adolescent for this important step in their life and serving as a model for other Latin American universities.

Keywords : Reproductive health; sexually transmitted diseases; contraception violence; universities.

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