Are Thoughts, Attitudes, and Perceptions Regarding Sexual Risks Same Among Different Ethnic Groups of Foreign Medical Students in Ukraine?

Pavlo Kolesnyk, George Kuodza

Keywords: Sexually transmitted infections, primary care, prevention, risky sexual behaviors; knowledge of STI/HIV; university students

Since more than one million new cases of sexually transmitted infections(STIs) are reported every day on a worldwide scale, making STIs a public health problem. One-third of all new cases of curable STIs occur in people under the age of 25. In addition to the acute effects of the illnesses, sexually transmitted diseases have the potential to cause catastrophic long-term consequences. The majority of STIs occur among young people, mostly as a result of variables such as curiosity, social pressure, a lack of information and skills, hazardous sexual activities, and substance abuse. In addition to this different ethnic groups have different opinions on the matter.

Research questions:
The purpose is to ascertain similarities and differences about knowledge, behavior, attitudes concerning STIs risks and their prevention among foreign medical students at Uzhgorod National University(UzhNU).

A descriptive cross-sectional study will be conducted among 1500 foreign students at UzhNU. This population is unique because they come from different countries of Asia, Europe and Africa with different opinions regarding sexual behavior and STIs. An interviewer-administered questionnaire will be used to obtain data. The questionnaire will measure their awareness of STIs as well as their hazardous sexual behavior in connection with STIs. This will be the first phase of the study.
The subsequent phases will consist of a qualitative study to understand why the differences and similarities occur among our selected population and the final study will be to assess if usage of a web-based screening adviser developed by the research team would influence their knowledge, attitudes towards STIs.

The results of first phase of ongoing survey will be presented on the EGPRN conference in May 2022.

The results will be utilized to raise awareness about STIs and to develop preventive measures for foreign students.

Points for discussion:
Is difference in sexual relationship and STI knowledge behavior and attitude correlated with age, sex, ethnicity or religion of the foreign students?

Can the evaluated difference in sexual health attitude and behavior be find among foreign students of the other countries?

What methods of changing students' attitude may become a best option in sexual education?