Survey of festival-goers reveals condom failures

MUSIC festivals might be a great place to get in tune with the latest trends but unfortunately for too many young people they are also a place to contract a sexually transmitted infection or unwanted pregnancy.

A survey of young people attending a NSW music festival revealed that a significant number had used condoms inconsistently or incorrectly, resulting in high annual rates of condom failures during intercourse.

The survey results revealed incorrect condom usage with only 77% of those interviewed confident with their condom practices.

Researchers said the poor practices means significant risks of sexually transmitted infections, specifically chlamydia and HIV, and unwanted pregnancies, and highlights the need for health promotion campaigns targeting this cohort.

Western Sydney University medical students undertaking clinical placements with University Centre for Rural Health North Coast, in collaboration with the North Coast HIV and Related Programs and the North Coast Positive Adolescent Sexual Health Consortium, interviewed 290 music festival attendees aged from 18 to 29 years.

UCRH researcher Dr Sabrina Pit said 94% admitted to having been under the influence of drugs or alcohol during sex some time in the last year, while 19% reported being under the influence "most of the time" or "always" when they had sex

"Despite reasonable levels of confidence in their ability to use condoms, inconsistent use and a high rate of condom failure put this population at an increased risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections, specifically chlamydia," she said.

"This study has implications for sexual health promotion and public health programs, and targeting future interventions toward this group may be of value."



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Goal to virtually eliminate HIV transmission by 2020

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