Just half of Canadian university students use condoms: Survey

(Shutterstock)

(Shutterstock)

Kevin Connor, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:39 AM ET

Half of Canadian post-secondary students aren't cluing in that a condom protects against sexually-transmitted infections, a new national study by Trojan Condoms says.

The findings show that two-thirds of students, aged 18 to 24, had a sexual encounter in the last year. While 72% of that group had sexual intercourse, only 51% reported using a condom.

The study found that of those who used condoms, more than half said they used them for birth control while only 6% expressed the need to prevent sexually transmitted diseases.

"Rates of sexually transmitted infection (STIs) are high in the young adult age group so the results of this study clearly show that there remains much more work to do in terms of encouraging young people to better protect themselves against not only unwanted pregnancy but especially STIs," said Dr. Alex McKay, a research co-ordinator with the Sex Information and Education Council of Canada -- a group involved in the study.

Many post-secondary students suffer from safe sex fatigue, said Dr. Robin Milhausen, an associated professor at the University of Guelph, who is analyzing the study data.

"They haven't had a scare and think 'this isn't going to happen to me' because they feel robust," Milhausen said.

"Pregnancy is more of a concern."

The study found post-secondary students typically have one partner a year but many stop using condoms because the relationship becomes serious.

Government agencies have focused education efforts on high-risk groups, such as men who have sex with men, drug users and immigrants.

The data for the study was collected by Leger Marketing using 1,500 post-secondary students across the country, between Dec. 6, 2012 and Jan. 2, 2013.


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