This systematic review looks at levels of STI awareness, knowledge and perceived risk of school-going adolescents in Europe. Fifteen studies were included, all of which cross-sectional and conducted among 13 to 20 year olds. Awareness and knowledge varied depending on gender. Awareness on HIV/AIDS was high (over 90%) but low for HPV (5.4%-66%). While knowledge that condoms protect against STIs was high, adolescents viewed it as an interim contraception method before using the pill. In this study, knowledge did not translate into safer sex behavior change. Adolescent sex education needs to move beyond a focus solely on HIV and AIDS to include other STIs like chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis and HPV.
BMC Public Health 11 2011
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