“The Knowledge, Prevalence, and Perception of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) among the Third-level Student Population in Cork, Ireland.”

Presented by Cathal O’Regan, Biochemistry Department, Cork University Hospital.
Chair: Roisín Spriggs, chairperson of the UCC Biomedical Science Society

Cathal O’Regan, an undergraduate student undergoing final year of BSc Biomedical Science in UCC/MTU. Medical Laboratory Aide (MLA) at Cork University Hospital, Biochemistry Department. Current finance officer of the UCC Biomedical Science Society, having previously acted as the vice-finance officer. Peer-review roll for the International Undergraduate Journal of Health Sciences (IUJHS). Intend to complete the Diploma in Clinical Laboratory Practice at MTU, post-graduation. Currently researching the genetics of Restless Legs Syndrome under the supervision of Dr. Collette Hand, UCC as part of the final year project.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are transmitted through sexual contact with an infected person and these infections are capable of causing health problems such as infertility. In Ireland, the majority of STIs have been on the increase since the early 2000s, particularly among young people aged 15-24 years old.
The aims of this study were to investigate the knowledge, prevalence, and perception of third-level students in Cork, Ireland regarding STIs.
A survey was created and distributed to registered students at University College Cork (UCC) and Munster Technological University, Cork (MTU).
A total of 709 anonymous, valid, and voluntary responses were collected. Eighty-five percent of respondents had received sexual health education at secondary school. Over half of sexually active respondents were unaware of free STI testing available on both university campuses.

The majority of third-level students felt that their sexual health education was limited. The respondents lacked ample knowledge on the topic of STIs and were incapable of correctly answering all of the survey’s questions.

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