Introduction Young people who have experienced forced migration are vulnerable in relation to their sexual health, however, little is known about their sexual health literacy and behaviours post resettlement. This study explored the sexual health knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs of young Sudanese Queenslanders along with the patterns of sexual behaviour and sexuality education of this predominately refugee background group.
Methods Conducted in partnership with the target community using a convergent parallel mixed methods design, this study involved a convenience sample of 16–24 year old Sudanese Queenslanders completing an anonymous self-administered written survey. Descriptive, correlational, and Multivariate Analysis of Variance statistics were conducted.
Results Of the 229 participants (Mean age = 19.2 years), 95 males (63.8%) and 45 females (57.0%) self-reported they had experienced sex. The mean HIV knowledge score (M = 6.8, 12 item, Cronbach’s α = 0.83) was higher than the mean STI knowledge score (M = 3.6, 11 item, Cronbach’s α = 0.67), importantly however, both were low. The majority had sought sexual health information (61.1%) and self-reported they were confident talking about sex with partners (72.1%). They were notably less confident talking about sex with parents (27.9%). A third (31%) reported a HIV test. The aggregated Sexual Risk Behaviour Score (25 items, Cronbach’s α = 0.9, range 7 to 70, M = 27.91, SD = 14.1) suggested generally low levels of risk behaviour. However, there was inconsistent condom use, minimal hormonal contraception use (9.3%), and 3.1% reported sex leading to an STI, 9.0% reported a pregnancy, 33.1% had experienced unwanted sex, and 32.9% had practiced anal sex.
Conclusion There was clear evidence of behaviours that place this group at increased risk of negative sexual health outcome suggesting a strong need for culturally informed sexual health education and interventions that address these aspects early within the resettlement experience.
Disclosure of interest statement This research is part of the first authors Doctor of Philosophy through Griffith University. The study was supported by the Queensland Nursing Council Novice Researcher Grant (RAN 1034) and Centaur Memorial Fund for Nurses Scholarship. No pharmaceutical grants were received in the development of this study.
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