I couldn’t talk to a girl about that…’: how young male Victorian TAFE students would like general practitioners to talk to them about sexual health.

I couldn’t talk to a girl about that…’: how young male Victorian TAFE students would like general practitioners to talk to them about sexual health.

2014-11-01 00:00:00

Young men need sexual health information yet attend General Practice relatively infrequently, and uncommonly seek sexual health advice. Little is known about the attitudes of young men to opportunistic health screening or education by a General Practitioner (GP).

Methods: One-on-one semi-structured interviews were conducted with 16 male TAFE students aged 16-17 years old. All interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and thematic analysis applied to the data.

Results: Interviews took 10-35 minutes. Most young men attended the GP on their own but described parental involvement in booking appointments, transport and dealing with reception staff. Most young men were sexually active but needed terms such as ‘STI’ and ‘contraception’ explained by the interviewer. The young men were unwilling to display their lack of knowledge regarding sexual health. Apathy was the dominant attitude of young men to sexual health that came through the interviews. Most young men were not initially supportive of a GP bring up sexual health in an unrelated consult, but when offered a segue such as ‘ The government is doing a big push to offer a Chlamydia test to all young men your age…’ they said they would be happy to engage in discussion/education. Most of the young men preferred a young to middle aged male doctor to discuss sexual health.

Conclusion: Young men are not fully functioning as independent beings but are fully functioning as sexual beings. They are willing to engage with sexual health material/education in an appropriate setting. GPs should not seek to assess knowledge but rather should offer education and screening tests in a gentle, non-confrontational manner. Male GPs should ensure they do this at every opportunity. Female GPs should raise the subject and offer discussion with herself or a male colleague.

Areas of Interest / Categories: Australian Society for HIV 2014
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Australian Society for HIV 2014

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