Understanding STI AND HIV Testing Rates among Higher Risk University Students
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Individuals of university age have the highest rates of diagnosed sexually transmitted infection (STI) and are at high risk of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) acquisition. STI and HIV testing services are free and readily available to most university students in Canada, however, only some individuals choose to access them. Using data from a cross-sectional survey of eight Maritime Canadian universities, we determined that 62% of vaginally sexually active undergraduate students have never had an STI test and 85% have never been tested for HIV. Across groups stratified by biological sex and risk of STI acquisition, younger students with less sexual health knowledge were significantly less likely to be tested for STI and younger, heterosexual students were significantly less likely to be tested for HIV. Health promotion may be most effective at increasing overall lifetime STI and HIV testing when targeting younger students with campaigns designed to improve sexual health knowledge.