Background Surveying sexual behavior in the general population serves to identify critical points of interventions, monitor the effect of such and interpret changes in the spread of sexual transmitted infections over time. Validated questionnaires describing sexual behavior could be adapted from other countries, but cultural differences may raise additional or other questions in order to describe the important issues sufficiently. To design and initiate a sexual behavior surveillance program in Denmark, the aim of this qualitative study was therefore to identify focus points of special importance regarding adolescents’ sexual behavior. Method We conducted four semi-structured focus group interviews of overall 19 adolescents aged 18 to 23 who were all sexual experienced. Boys and girls were interviewed separately. Each group contained pupils from the same folk school, but with different social- and educational backgrounds. The interview guide was developed on the basis of literature review and hypothesis arising from years of work with epidemiological perspective on sexual transmitted infections as well as treatment of patients with sexual transmitted infections. Data were transcribed verbatim and analysed using qualitative description as the research approach. Results We identified four major categories of risk behavior: 1) Alcohol consumption being associated with no condom use. 2) Nights on the town and meetings in foreign counties or at festivals are associated with one night stands and often lead to unsafe sex. 3) Low self-esteem increases the risk of ignoring crossing of one’s personal boundaries and thereby resulting in promiscuous sexual behavior. 4) Increased sexual experience was found to be associated with lack of condom use. Surprisingly, the informants did not consider drug abuse and internet dating to be triggers of unsafe sex. Conclusion According to Danish adolescents there were four important key topics which could lead to unsafe sex and these points differed slightly from our expectations. Those points of interest will be included in a sexual behavior questionnaire and used to describe important points of interest regarding sexual behavior in the young population.
Sexual Behavior; Risk factors; adolescents; Qualitative Research
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The 19th ISSTDR Conference, International Society for STD Research, 2011