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  Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 37  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 17-20
 

Randomized questionnaire based cross-sectional research study on awareness of sexually transmitted diseases amongst the general population between those who completed their high school education and those who have not


Department of Skin and STD, Saveetha Medical College, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication14-Apr-2016

Correspondence Address:
C. R. V. Narasimhalu
Department of Skin and STD, Saveetha Medical College Hospital, Saveetha Nagar, Thandalam, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0253-7184.176222

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   Abstract 

Introduction: Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are a very important health challenge for adolescents. Educational level, especially sex education in school, prevents the adolescents falling prey to these diseases.Objective: To compare the awareness of STDs among general population with below and above high school qualification. Materials and Methods: A simple randomized, cross-sectional, questionnaire based study on the awareness of STDs on out-patients and in-patients of Saveetha Medical College and Hospital of 6 months duration was conducted. About 150 subjects participated in the study. Results: About 77.8% of those who completed schooling had good awareness of STDs. Statistical analysis had shown the formal education to high school level is statistically significantP= 0.0068 (P < 0.05) in people falling prey to the STDs. Conclusion: The initiation of formal education about sex education at the school level can improve the present status and lead to better prevention of STDs.


Keywords: Adolescents, condoms, high school, sex education, sexually transmitted diseases


How to cite this article:
Narasimhalu C, Muhilan J. Randomized questionnaire based cross-sectional research study on awareness of sexually transmitted diseases amongst the general population between those who completed their high school education and those who have not. Indian J Sex Transm Dis 2016;37:17-20

How to cite this URL:
Narasimhalu C, Muhilan J. Randomized questionnaire based cross-sectional research study on awareness of sexually transmitted diseases amongst the general population between those who completed their high school education and those who have not. Indian J Sex Transm Dis [serial online] 2016 [cited 2019 Nov 15];37:17-20. Available from: http://www.ijstd.org/text.asp?2016/37/1/17/176222



   Introduction Top


Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are a very important health challenge for adolescents. Many national and international governmental and non-governmental health agencies are running programs to reduce the incidence of these diseases. We can provide an insight to the reproductive and sexual health needs of adolescents by assessing their knowledge, attitude, and practice about these diseases.

The stage of life during which individuals reach sexual maturity is known as adolescence. It is the period of transition from childhood to adulthood. Young adolescents constitute an equally large amount of those infected with STDs. “Teenagers not aware about STDs”, says about 10–15 teenagers seek treatment for STDs every month – TOI, Bangalore.

Over the period 1985–1996, a general decrease of gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia infections was noted in developed countries, both in the general population and among adolescents. From the mid-1990s however, increases in the diagnoses of STDs, in particular syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia have been reported in several European countries, especially among teenagers 16–19 years old.[1]

The declining age of first sexual intercourse has been preferred as one possible explanation for the increase in numbers of STDs. According to data from different European countries, the average age of first sexual intercourse has decreased over the last three decades, with increasing proportions of adolescents reporting sexual activity before the age of 16 years.

The reluctance of adolescents to use condoms is another possible explanation for the increase in STDs. Some surveys of adolescents have reported that condoms were found to be difficult to use by the sexually inexperienced, detract from sensual pleasure and also embarrassing to suggest. Furthermore, many adolescents do not perceive themselves to be at risk of contracting an STD.[2]

A study was conducted by Samkange-Zeeb et al.[3] to determine the awareness and knowledge of school-going adolescents in Europe of STDs, not only concerning HIV/AIDS, but also other STDs such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus, and herpes simplex virus. Where possible we will identify differences in awareness and knowledge by key demographic variables such as age and gender, and how awareness has changed over time.

Aim

To compare the awareness of STDs among general population with below and above high school qualification.


   Materials and Methods Top


A simple randomized, cross-sectional study of 6 months duration was conducted on the awareness of STDs on out-patients and in-patients of Saveetha Medical College and Hospital. Written informed consent was obtained from the study subjects. About 150 subjects participated in this study.

In this study, inclusion criteria were people aged between 14 and 40 years available at the time of data collection and who were willing to participate in this study.

Exclusion criteria were people unwilling for the study, age group below 14 years and above 40 years and students undergoing courses in medical colleges.

Questionnaire method was used to assess the prevalence and knowledge regarding awareness about STDs [Questionnaire 1]. The questionnaire included sociodemographic details, and details based on awareness about STDs and contraceptive devices.




   Results Top


About 150 subjects (males 63 females 87) participated in our study. Their age distribution was as follows - <18 years 2 persons, 18–30 years of age group constituted about 113, 31–40 years were about 20 subjects, and above 40 years were 15 [Figure 1]. In this, 77.8% male participants had good awareness and 22.2% had poor awareness about STDs. In females, 64.4% had good awareness and 35.6% had poor awareness about STDs [Figure 2]. Among the participants the age group 18-30 had the highest awareness (73.9%) while age group >40 yrs had the lowest awareness (46.7%) [Figure 3].
Figure 1: Age distribution

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Figure 2: Sex-wise distribution

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Figure 3: Age-wise results

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Out of those who had good awareness 73.3% had completed their schooling while 26.7% had not completed their school studies.

In our study, it was observed that out of 150 participants, 77.8% of people who had completed schooling were aware about STDs and 54.9% of people who had not completed schooling were aware about STDs [Figure 4]. Out of 105 participants, who had good awareness about STDs, 77 (73.3%) had completed schooling while 28 (26.7%) had not completed their schooling as depicted in [Table 1].
Figure 4: Completed schooling versus not completed schooling

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Table 1: Awareness and education levels

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Out of 150 participants, only 1 participant had visited an STD clinic, and 45% of participants were willing to know more about STDs.

Statistical analysis of this study shows statically significant P = 0.0068 (P < 0.05). The Chi-squared value = 7.334 with 1 degree of freedom (with Yates correction).


   Discussion Top


“Venereal disease is the most formidable enemy of the human race; an enemy entrenched behind the strongest human passions and deepest social prejudice.”

-Sir William Osler [4]



As Sir William Osler said, the STDs were the most formidable enemy of the human race. Knowing the enemy better will provide a great strength to win him. On this basis, a study was conducted to know the awareness about STDs among general population and also to know whether the effect of their educational status would help in his or her awareness of STDs. Though, approach to STD patients are very well taught,[5],[6],[7],[8] the variations in their prevalence, transmission, morbidity, and sexual behavior make them difficult to be studied epidemiologically.[9]

The WHO estimate shows more than 333 million new cases occur with four common STDs (chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea and trichomoniasis) each year.[10],[11] Now-a-days there are at least 30 conditions transmissible through sexual contact.[12],[13] Reproductive tract infections are extremely common in females.[14]

From this study, we have concluded that the awareness about STDs is significantly higher among those who have completed schooling than those who have not completed schooling.

Hence, it is evident that educational status has good influence on the awareness of STDs.

Though 77.8% of those who completed schooling had good awareness of STDs, the initiation of formal education about STDs at the school level can improve the present status and lead to better prevention of STDs.


   Conclusion Top


From this study, it is understood that the education level plays a major role in the awareness of STDs. By this we recommend that not only education to all, even sex education to be imparted to all for better prevention of STDs.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

 
   References Top

1.
Hasegawa S, Sawa H, Shimizu K, Fujioka M, Tsushio M, Fujihara N, et al. Questionnaire survey of AIDS examination recipients at government-run public health center regarding AIDS awareness promotion and HIV examinations. Nihon Koshu Eisei Zasshi 1996;43:276-85.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Adolescent Reproductive Health USAID. Available from: http://www.popline.org/subject_adolRH. [Last accessed 2014 May 08].  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Samkange-Zeeb FN, Spallek L, Zeeb H. Awareness and knowledge of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among school-going adolescents in Europe: A systematic review of published literature. BMC Public Health 2011;11:727.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Valia RG, Valia AR, editors. IADVL Textbook of Dermatology. 3rd ed., Vol. 2. Mumbai: Bhalani Publishing House. 2008. p. 894.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Wilcox RR, Wilcox JB. Venereological Medicine. London: Grand McIntyre; 1992. p. 22-32.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Schmid GP. Approach to the patient with genital ulcer disease. Med Clin North Am 1990;74:1559-72.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
NACO. History Taking and Examination. Management of STD Patients. Module No. 3. New Delhi: NACO; 1994. p. 1-19.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Farthing MF, Jeffrie DJ. Sexually transmitted diseases. In Kumar P, Clark M, editors. Clinical Medicine. 4th ed. London: W.B. Saunders; 1998. p. 97-9.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Moran JS. The spectrumof RTIs/STIs and their comparative epidemiology. In: Pattern J, editor. Improving Reproductive Health. International Shared Experience. Proceedings of a Two Day International Workshop; 1997, Dec 4-5. Jakarta: Population Council; 1998. p. 19-29.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
Adler MW. Sexually transmitted diseases control in developing countries. Genitourin Med 1996;72:83-8.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.
Aral, S. O., and K. K. Holmes. 1999. “Social and Behavioral Determinants of the Epidemiology of STDs: Industrialized and Developing Countries.” In Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 3rd ed., ed. K. K. Holmes, P. F. Sparling, P.-A. Mardh, S. M. Lemon, W. E. Stamm, P. Piot, et al., 139–76. New York: McGraw Hill.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
12.
World Health Organization. Management of Patients with Sexually Transmitted Diseases. WHO Technical Report Series 810. Geneva, Switzerland: WHO; 1991.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
13.
Barbosa-Cesnik CT, Gerbase A, Heymann D. STD vaccines – an overview. Genitourin Med 1997;73:336-42.  Back to cited text no. 13
    
14.
NACO. Management of STD Patients. Module 1. Government of India, New Delhi: National AIDS Control Organization; 2007.  Back to cited text no. 14
    


    Figures

  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4]
 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1]



 

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