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Dublin: 10 °C Saturday 7 December, 2019

Three-quarters of students have had unprotected sex: survey

HSE Crisis Pregnancy Programme acting director says that 18-24-year-old know the importance of contraception – but fail to use it consistently.

Image: Niall Carson/PA Archive

A NEW NATIONWIDE survey of students in Ireland has found that three out of four students have had unprotected sex, while 70 per cent of students surveyed said they had never been tested for sexually transmitted infection.

One thousand students around the country were surveyed by the Union of Students in Ireland, the HSE Crisis Pregnancy Programme, MSD and Durex ahead of the Sexual Health Advice and Guidance (SHAG) week which begins in colleges today.

Of those 1,000 students, 86 per cent said they were sexually active and over one-third (38 per cent) said that they or a partner had taken the morning after pill.

Acting director of the HSE Crisis Pregnancy Programme Dr Stephanie O’Keeffe said that young people continue to ignore the risks associated with unprotected sex.

“Research tells us that 18-24-year-olds know about the importance of using contraception,” O’Keeffe said, “but fail to use it consistently and often take risks, particularly when sex is not planned for.”

“It is critical that sexually active adults take responsibility for using condoms and other contraceptive methods correctly and consistently to help prevent an unplanned pregnancy and protect against sexually transmitted infections,” she added.

Over 40,000 SHAG packs including information on sexual health, contraception and STI testing will be distributed at Irish colleges throughout the week.

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