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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 20-25

Awareness of sexually transmitted diseases among male medical students in King Khalid University, Abha


1 Associate Professor, Department of Family & Community Medicine, College of Medicine, King Khalid University, Abha, P.O. Box 641, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
2 Assistant Professor, Department of Family & Community Medicine, College of Medicine, King Khalid University, Abha, P.O. Box 641, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
3 Assistant Professor, Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine, King Khalid University, Abha, P.O. Box 641, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
4 Medical Students, College of Medicine, King Khalid University, Abha, P.O. Box 641, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Date of Web Publication13-Aug-2020

Correspondence Address:
MD, DFM (UK) Rishi Kr Bharti
Family & Community Medicine, College of Medicine, King Khalid University, Abha, PO Box 641
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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  Abstract 


Objective: To assess the knowledge of male students about STDs. Study Design: This cross-sectional study was conducted in King Khalid University after taking the clearance from the ethical committee using a self-administered questionnaire. Results: Around 31.13% participants knew that a person who has genital herpes must have open sore to transmit this infection whereas 21.85% students aware of its trans-placental transmission to baby. Nearly one third (32.45%) respondents gave the correct response regarding the HIV transmission through a person carrying STDs,Whereas 21.19% knew that there is no vaccine for Chlamydia. More than half of the participants 54.97% were aware of Human Papilloma Virus. Nearly one third the students (28.48%) had knowledge that having anal sex increases a person’s risk of getting Hepatitis B and only 22.53% were aware about the vaccine that can protect from Hepatitis B. Conclusion: Academic activities like workshops, seminars and quizzes about raising the awareness should be organized by the experts and encourage the students to make effective participation.Adolescent health education programmes focused on STDs should be included in medical curriculum.

Keywords: Medical Students, Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), Human Deficiency Virus (HIV); Adolescents


How to cite this article:
Samaghan AS, Bharti RK, Al-Musa H, Chaudhary S, H. Alqahtani AA, A. Alshehri ND, A. Abuhabshah AA, D. Abuhabshah AJ. Awareness of sexually transmitted diseases among male medical students in King Khalid University, Abha. King Khalid Univ J Health Scii 2017;2:20-5

How to cite this URL:
Samaghan AS, Bharti RK, Al-Musa H, Chaudhary S, H. Alqahtani AA, A. Alshehri ND, A. Abuhabshah AA, D. Abuhabshah AJ. Awareness of sexually transmitted diseases among male medical students in King Khalid University, Abha. King Khalid Univ J Health Scii [serial online] 2017 [cited 2020 Nov 28];2:20-5. Available from: https://www.kkujhs.org/text.asp?2017/2/1/20/291934




  Introduction Top


The worldwide burden of sexually transmitted diseases reported increases especially in young adolescent, not only in developed countries but also significantly rising in developing countries as well.

The prevalence of STDs is more among young population[1] as estimated by the Centre for disease control (CDC) which reported that young people less than 25 years in many developing countries have a high prevalence of STD.

According to the WHO the period of the adolescent ranged from 10-19 years and youth between 15-24 years.[2] Awareness about STDs and their complications is very important for effective prevention and treatment, as people who are unaware about symptoms may fail to seek help and need.[3],[4],[5]

In the Saudi community, discussing STDs is considered a social taboo so confidentiality and privacy are the main important barriers to seeking the medical care among the adolescent’s age groups who may be suffering from STDs.[6] Moreover, Prevention and control of STDs, especially among the youth, is a low priority for most countries. This is attributed to the lack of awareness of the problem of STDs and their complications, competition for resources to control other important health problems, and the reluctance of public health policy makers to deal with diseases associated with sexual behaviour.[2],[6],[7]

Very few information is available regarding the awareness of the medical students in Abha, therefore this study was designed with aim to explore the extent of knowledge of medical students. Outcomes of this study could be utilized to raise the awareness among the students to help in prevention and control of STDs and enhance health education.


  Methodology Top


This cross-sectional study was conducted in King Khalid University after taking the clearance from the ethical committee. A self-administered questionnaire was sent electronically to the male students from level 4 to level 12 with informing about the aim and purpose of the study. Based on their response, 151 students were selected for the final sample. Standardized STD knowledge Questionnaire (STD-KQ; Jaworski& Carey, 2007) was used to measure the knowledge of students.[8] It consists of twenty-seven questions to explore the knowledge of STDs. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 22.0 and frequencies, percentage and chi- square test were used and ‘P’ value <0.05 was considered statistically significant.


  Results Top


Out of 180 questionnaires sent to the male students, 151 questionnaires were fully completed with a response rate 84%.

[Table 1] shows that the academic level of the male students form level 4 up to level 12. Majority of the respondents (34, 22.52 %) were from level 6 , Whereas level 8 constituted 22 students(14.57%) and 26 students (17.22%) were level 11.
Table 1: Academic Level of Male Medical Students

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As shown in [Table 2], all the students were between 20-24 years of age and majority of (31, 20.53%) belong to 22 years of age group .The mean age of the male students is 21.57yrs with 1.37 SD.
Table 2: Age of Male Medical Students

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About 31.13% participants had knowledge that a person who has genital herpes must have open sore to transmit the infection, whereas 21.85% knew the transplacental transmission to a baby. Nearly one third (32.45%) respondents gave the correct response regarding the HIV transmission from a person carrying STDs while 41.72% of participants were aware that HIV can be protected by using condom. About 43 % responded correctly when asked about the link of bad vaginal odour and Chlamydial infection and 21.19% knew that there is no vaccine for Chlamydia. majority of patients 43.05 % were aware that women cannot tell by looking at her body if she has Gonorrhea. Whereas only 15.23% respondents knew that there is a cure for Gonorrhea. 27.81% responded correctly to the false statement narrating that a woman can be identified as a case of from general appearance of her body gonorrhea from the look of her body. More than half of the participants (54.97%) were aware that the Human Papilloma Virus causes HIV and very few respondents (19.21%) knew about that genital warts are caused by Human papilloma Virus and the same virus can lead to cervical cancer in women .Nearly one third of students (28.48%) had knowledge that having anal sex increases a person’s risk of getting Hepatitis B and only 22.53% were aware that a vaccine that can protect from Hepatitis B is available.

[Table 3] shows the cross-tabulation done between male students and the phrases used to assess the knowledge. There was significant association (p<0.001) between the mean age of students and the phrase saying that using condom protects a person from getting HIV infection, and also a statistically significant (p<0.046) association observed between phrase indicates there is a cure for Chlamydia and the mean age of male students as well as that the Human Papilloma Virus can cause genital wart. However, there was no association observed in other phrases and mean age of the students.
Table 3: Distribution of respondents who opted correct answers according to their knowledge about STDs (n=151)

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Table 4: Phrases asked regarding sexually transmitted diseases according to their Male Medical Students' Age (Mean age (21.57±1.37) (n =151)

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  Discussion Top


This study examined the knowledge of the male students about sexually transmitted diseases and focusing on mainly on six STDs (Herpes, HIV/AIDS, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Human Papilloma Virus and Hepatitis B). The majority of respondents were having the knowledge of all six STDs. However, the knowledge about Herpes about the vertical transmission herpes of infection was poor, despite of annual incidence of Herpes infection among Saudi of 0.1 per 100,000 population.[10] Our study indicates 55.75% students were aware about the HIV/AIDS related information compared to other STDs.

In our study, the observed poor knowledge among the students about both Chlamydia and Gonorrhea compared to Basir Gaash in Srinagar reported that 76% of participants were aware of HIV/AIDS9. This could be due to lack of interest of STDs topics, inadequate involvement of students in lectures, seminars and workshops focused on STDs.

A study done by Tessa Fayers et al. also revealed the same result about Chlamydia and Gonorrhea infection, a finding that raises concern. Many asymptomatic people assume that they do not have Chlamydia even after potential exposure and therefore do not seek advice or treatment.[11] One-half of the students were aware of Human Papilloma Virus role in cervical cancer and genital warts indicating that students had enough knowledge about the potential risk of Human Papilloma Virus.

However, knowledge about other STDs like gonorrhea, syphilis, Chlamydia, and HPV was much lower than that of HIV/AIDS, which is supported by a study done in Nigeria.[11] Our findings revealed, 40 % of participants knew about the Hepatitis infection as compared to Zaki M. Eisa et al in Jazan found more than half of the students were aware.[12]


  Conclusion Top


STDs nowadays considered as a major health burden in developing countries and all over the world .Medical students have poor knowledge about all STDs. Further, academic activities like workshops and quizzes should be organized by the experts and students in order to improve awareness and knowledge. And also adolescent health education programs need to be focused on STDs at each level of medical curriculum. Public campaigns and mass media can be effective tools of communication in raising the awareness about STDs and ensuring the success of the programme. Further research about methods to increase knowledge need to be explored depending upon sociocultural environment would provide new insights for prevention and cure of STDs.



 
  References Top

1.
Mosharaf H, Kulanthayan KCM, Mohd S, Hayati S, Shaha K , Islam R. Knowledge and awareness about STDs among women in Bangladesh. BMC Public Health, 2014. 14:775.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Mbah CJ. Sexual behavior and the risks of HIV/AIDS and other STDs among young people in Sub-Saharan Africa: A review. Research Review 2003 NS 19.1: 15-25.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Alubo O, Oyediran K, Odiachi A. Adolescent Sexuality and Reproductive Health in Benue State, Nigeria, Centre for Development and Population Activities CEDPA/Nigeria, 2002, Mar: 44.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
National Population Commission (NPC) and ORC Macro, Nigerian Demographic and Health Survey, 2003, National Population Commission and ORC Macro, Calverton, Md, USA, 2004.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Anwar M, Sulaiman SAS, Ahmadi K, Khan TM. Awareness of school students on sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and their sexual behavior: a cross-sectional study conducted in Pulau Pinang, Malaysia. BMC Public Health, 2010; 10(47): 571.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Fortenberry JD, Brizendine EJ, Katz BP, Wools KK, Blythe MJ, Orr DP. Subsequent sexually transmitted infections among adolescent women with genital infection due to Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, or Trichomonas vaginalis. Sex Transm Dis 1999; 26(1): 26-32.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Madani TA. Sexually transmitted infections in Saudi Arabia. BMC Infect Dis 2006; 6: 3.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Jaworski BC, Carey MP. Development and Psychometric Evaluation of a Self-administered Questionnaire to Measure Knowledge of Sexually Transmitted Diseases. AIDS and Behavior, 2007; 11, 557-574.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Gaash B, Ahmad M, Kasur R, Bashir S. Knowledge, Attitude and Belief on HIV/AIDS Among the Female Senior Secondary Students in Srinagar District of Kashmir, Health and Population-Perspectives and Issues, 2003; 26 (3) 101-109.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
Fayers T, Crowley T, Jenkins JM, Cahill DJ. Medical student awareness of sexual health is poor, International Journal of STD & AIDS 2003; 14: 386-389.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.
Amu EO, Adegun PT. Awareness and Knowledge of Sexually Transmitted Infections among Secondary School Adolescents in Ado Ekiti, South Western Nigeria, Journal of Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 2015, Article ID 260126, 7 pages  Back to cited text no. 11
    
12.
Zaki M. Eisa , Saleh A. Eifan , Basheer A. Al-Sum ,Awareness of Viral Hepatitis B and C Infection among First Year Medical Sciences Students in Jazan University, Public Health Research, 2012; 2(5): 167-173.  Back to cited text no. 12
    



 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4]



 

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   Abstract
  Introduction
  Methodology
  Results
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