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Abstract

Volume 10, Issue 4 (July 2008) 10, 607–615; 10.1111/j.1745-7262.2008.00413.x

Sexual and reproductive health service needs of university/college students: updates from a survey in Shanghai, China

Bin Chen, Yong-Ning Lu, Hong-Xiang Wang, Qing-Liang Ma, Xiao-Ming Zhao, Jian-Hua Guo, Kai Hu, Yi-Xin Wang, Yi-Ran Huang and Pei Chen

1.Department of Urology, Renji Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200001, China
2.Department of Obestetric & Gynecology, Renji Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200001, China
3.Shanghai Institute of Andrology, Renji Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200001, China
4.Center for Reproductive Medicine, Renji Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200001, China

Correspondence: Dr Bin Chen, Department of Urology, Shanghai Institute of Andrology, Renji Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200001, China. Fax: +86-21-6373-0455. E-mail: dr_binchen@126.com

Received 25 August 2007; Accepted 15 February 2008.

Abstract

Aim: To promote the provision of reproductive health services to young people by exploring the attitudes and perceptions of university students in Shanghai, China, toward reproductive health.

Methods: From July 2004 to May 2006, 5 243 students from 14 universities in Shanghai took part in our survey. Topics covered the demands of reproductive health-care services, attitudes towards and experience with sex, exposure to pornographic material, and knowledge on sexual health and sexually transmitted infections (STIs)/AIDS.

Results: Of the 5 067 students who provided valid answer sheets, 50.05% were female and 49.95% were male, 14.86% were medical students, and 85.14% had non-medical backgrounds. A total of 38.4% of respondents had received reproductive health education previously. The majority of students supported school-based reproductive health education, and also acquired information about sex predominantly from books, schoolmates, and the Internet. Premarital sexual behavior was opposed by 17.7% of survey participants, and 37.5% could identify all the three types of STIs listed in the questionnaire. Although 83.7% knew how HIV is transmitted, only 55.7% knew when to use a condom and 57.8% knew that the use of condoms could reduce the risk of HIV infection.

Conclusion: The reproductive health service is lagging behind current attitudes and demands of university students. Although students' attitudes towards sexual matters are liberal, their knowledge about reproductive health and STIs/AIDS is still limited. It is therefore necessary to provide effective and confidential reproductive health services to young people.

Keywords: reproductive health, reproductive health services, safe sex, sexual behavior, sexuality

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