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BMC Public Health

, 9:256

First Online: 22 July 2009Received: 29 March 2009Accepted: 22 July 2009DOI: 10.1186-1471-2458-9-256

Cite this article as: Nikula, M., Gissler, M., Jormanainen, V. et al. BMC Public Health 2009 9: 256. doi:10.1186-1471-2458-9-256


BackgroundSexually transmitted infections STIs among the youth are an increasing challenge for public health in Europe. This study provided estimates of men-s 18–25 years sexual risk behaviour and self-reported STIs and their socio-demographic patterning in Finland and Estonia; two countries that are geographically close, but have very different STI epidemics.

MethodNationally representative cross-sectional population surveys with comparable survey questions were used. Data from self-administered questionnaires for 1765 men aged 18–25 years in Finland 85% of the age cohort was included in the sampling frame, 95% of the sample responded and 748 in Estonia, with a response rate of 43% respectively, were analysed. Socio-demographic patterning of multiple partners, condom use and self-reported STIs are presented was studied using multiple logistic regression analysis.

ResultsThe main findings focus on associations found within each country. In Finland, higher age, low education and to a lesser extent relationship with a non-steady partner increased the likelihood of reporting multiple lifetime-partners, while in Estonia only higher age and low education revealed this effect. In relation to unprotected intercourse, in Finland, higher age, low education and relationship status with a steady partner increased the likelihood of reporting unprotected intercourse. In Estonia, the same was observed only for relationship status. In Finland the likelihood of self-reported STIs increased by older age and lower education and decreased by being with a non-steady partner, while in Estonia, a non-significant increase in self-reported STIs was observed only in the older age group.

ConclusionA clear socio-demographic patterning for sexual behaviour and self-reported STIs was revealed in Finland, but a less consistent trend was seen in Estonia. The findings of this study suggest that prevention strategies should focus in Finland on less educated singles and in Estonia on young men generally.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2458-9-256 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Minna Nikula, Made Laanpere, Heikki Kunnas and Elina Hemminki contributed equally to this work.

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Autor: Minna Nikula - Mika Gissler - Vesa Jormanainen - Made Laanpere - Heikki Kunnas - Elina Haavio-Mannila - Elina Hemminki


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