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Risk factors for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases among adolescents in St. Petersburg, Russia. Fam Plann Perspect 2001;33(3):106-12



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-0034994915   41 Citations


CONTEXT: Over the past several years, there have been sharp increases in the prevalence of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among young people in Russia. Very little is known about Russian adolescents' behaviors and attitudes that might influence their risk of acquiring these infections.

METHODS: A 1995 survey of 533 students aged 15-17 attending eight St Petersburg high schools assessed their sexual risk practices, AIDS-specific attitudes and beliefs, sexual relationship patterns and preferences, and social characteristics.

RESULTS: Overall, 39% of students were sexually experienced, and these young people had had, on average, 3.4 sexual partners. Only 29% of sexually experienced students said they consistently used condoms, and 29% said they never did. Unprotected vaginal intercourse was the predominant and preferred sexual practice; it also was the practice that most often occurred with students' last sexual partner. In all, 28% of students defined "safer sex" as condom use. Many young people believed that AIDS is a threat only to members of particular "risk groups"; relatively few believed that they could get AIDS (17%) or said that AIDS information had influenced their sexual behavior (29% of those who were sexually experienced). Females were more likely than males to prefer having an exclusive partner, and males were more likely to prefer having casual partners.

CONCLUSIONS: Educational and behavioral interventions are urgently needed to help young people in Russia avoid HIV and other STDs. Risk and social characteristics identified in this study can help to guide the development and tailoring of risk reduction interventions.

Author List

Amirkhanian YA, Tiunov DV, Kelly JA


Yuri A. Amirkhanian PhD Professor in the Psychiatry department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Jeffrey A. Kelly PhD Professor in the Psychiatry department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
Risk Factors
Sex Factors
Sex Offenses
Sexual Behavior
Sexual Partners
Sexually Transmitted Diseases