"We have to get young people to view condoms as an essential part of having sex," says Ronny Heikki Tikkanen, one of the researchers behind the study which polled 15,000 young people between the ages of 15 and 29 right across Sweden. "The fact that so many don’t use condoms, even though they know that they offer protection against both STIs and unwanted pregnancies, shows how important it is to work on attitudes and behaviour."
The survey clearly demonstrates that those who start having sex at a young age and are generally inclined to take risks with alcohol and drugs are also likely to do so with sex. It is also more common for risk-takers to have accepted payment for sex. Those identified by the study as having exposed themselves to sexual risks have generally encountered HIV prevention initiatives without them having impacted notably on their behaviour.
"We’ve got to get better at identifying youngsters who take risks," says Margareta Forsberg, R&D manager at the Swedish Institute for Communicable Disease Control. “We also need to be more aware of the link between sexual risks, drugs and social exclusion. If we can come up with support structures at an early stage, we stand a better chance of promoting sexual health, self-esteem and wellbeing."
The researchers behind the study are now calling for new methods and strategies for preventive work on sexuality and health for young people.
"Young people want sexual health clinics to be readily accessible, condoms to be distributed at various meeting places and the Internet to be used more widely for advice and support," says Jonna Abelsson, assistant researcher at the University of Gothenburg. "The study offers guidance on the types of initiative that are viable for youngsters. We need to think about whether we’re going about things the right way when it comes to reaching those who most need advice and support."
The Ung KAB09 study is the largest of its kind in Sweden and the large number of respondents means that it has huge potential for increasing our knowledge and for investigating the links between different types of experience. As it was carried out partly through an online questionnaire, the study is not entirely representative, but it still makes an important contribution to preventive work on account of its size.
Monica Ideström, Head of the HIV Prevention and Sexual Health Unit at the Swedish Institute for Communicable Disease Control, tel: +46 (0)8 457 3717
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Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
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Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
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