NEW ORLEANS—Lack of knowledge related to sexual and reproductive health issues and high-risk sexual behaviors are common among young minority males, according to findings presented at the 2015 American Urological Association annual meeting.
In an anonymous survey completed by 264 men aged 18–25 years—of whom 65.5% identified as black and 32.2% as Hispanic—Alexander W. Pastuszak, MD, PhD, and colleagues at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston found 5% to 50% responded incorrectly to specific questions regarding symptoms and risk of acquiring sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or HIV. The survey revealed that 21.6% of respondents indicated having a sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the past year. Approximately 80% perceived their risk of getting an STI/HIV infection as low or very low, including the group that had an STI.
Survey results also showed that 57.2% indicated that they or their partner did not use birth control as their last sexual encounter.
Dr. Pastuszak’s group found that 30% of respondents did not know men can get testicular cancer, and 60% indicated that they do not perform testicular self-examination or do it occasionally.
“Young minority men, regardless of their ethnicity,” said Dr. Pastuszak, a clinical instructor and fellow in male reproductive medicine and surgery, “engage in high-risk sexual behaviors, lack the SRH knowledge and risk perception affiliated with these behaviors, and are not involved in their personal sexual and reproductive health.”
These findings support “a need for enhanced reproductive health services and education, specifically targeted to these young minority males, with the goals of promoting positive sexual behaviors and reducing these adverse social, economic, and health consequences that we’re struggling with right now.”
The respondents, who had a mean age of 21 years, attended youth health clinics at 5 sites in Houston. They completed a 56-item questionnaire asking about demographics, level of sexual and reproductive health knowledge, sexual activity, perceptions of STIs and/or HIV, and physical and mental health.