This is apparent from research among students of higher professional education and academic education, commissioned by Soa Aids Nederland. “We find it worrying that condom use decreases with casual contacts and free-range people – people with whom they have sex more often. If you do not protect yourself, you can contract an STD, “says Suzanne Meijer from Heemstede, program leader Young People of STD AIDS Netherlands.
Large-scale research among 20,500 sexually active young people between 12 and 25 years old has already shown that condom use is declining. Now, with small-scale qualitative research among heterosexual students without a permanent partner, the reasons are outdated. Several Leiden students were also interviewed for the study.
According to the researchers, unsafe sex appears to be the social norm among students. “Does not apply to all young people, there has been talk with a select group,” emphasizes Meijer. Some people do it safely with someone for the first time, but not afterwards. “There is no longer any fear of HIV among these young people.” If contraception is arranged differently – with, for example, the Pill, IUD or Implanon – missingthe reason why ’ for condom use. “To prevent STDs, it is of course the safest to use condoms, but not getting pregnant is more important,” one student reports. “If I become pregnant now my life will be over.” A male student: “I’d rather have an illness than a child.”
Students are more wary of online dating. Even with a sexual partner “with a reputation”, or “if a boy or girl is very easy to get into bed”.
Students with varying contacts know how to find their way to the GGD to have themselves tested for STDs preventively (up to 25 years free). “If I just do that once in a while, then I can’t carry it on unknowingly,” one student explains. They take the risk of an “easy to treat STD” for granted. “Chlamydia was a cunt, but you took a pill and it was gone,” one student reports. “Of the 30 or so sex partners, I have had chlamydia once, so the chance is actually not that great,” says another. The walk to the GGD in student cities sometimes causes capacity problems.
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Infectious disease control doctor Hanna Bos from STI AIDS Netherlands is happy that young people are being tested. “You no longer pass on every STD you treat.” At the same time, she is worried about falling condom use. “All signals are on red, it is not going well.” According to her, the risks of STDs, which can even lead to infertility, are underestimated. It is hardly known that you often experience no complaints with chlamydia, but in the meantime do pass it on. “I want to impress on young people: choose your own health, don’t think: I trust this partner.”
Students are less happy with a condom. “I’m circumcised and then you really feel it less with a condom,” says a young person. “Sometimes it just rubs so bad,” says a young woman. They also see a condom put on as an interruption of the flow in the free party: a mood killer. “Girls in particular place their fate in the hands of the sexual partner and do not start talking about a condom,” Meijer regrets. If alcohol is involved, the contraceptive also remains in the package. “It is for me the main reason, that I’m drunk and think, well, fuck it, “says a student.
Focus on condoms on the positive side, says Meijer, who argues for a (government) campaign, information at student associations and good sex education in secondary education. “How nice if you are a senang after sex and don’t have to worry about an STD. For boys who come quickly, the condom can also be a tool to last longer. Make it something exciting; condoms come with ridges, colors and flavors. ”