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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare
Title Knowledge, experience, and utilisation of sexual and reproductive health services amongst Nepalese youth living in the Kathmandu Valley
Author(s)
Volume 11
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2017
Page numbers 25-30
URL http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877575616301306
Abstract
Objective

Youth have the right to utilise sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services and information to protect themselves from negative SRH outcomes. This study aimed to assess knowledge, experience and use of SRH services amongst youth living in urban areas of the Kathmandu Valley.

Methods

We conducted a two stage cluster sampling cross-sectional household survey of young men and women aged 15ā€“24 living in the Kathmandu Valley using a structured questionnaire.

Results

Amongst the 680 young men and 720 young women participants, less than two-thirds had knowledge about the fertile period and less than a half about pregnancy risk at first sex. Over three quarters of young men and women had knowledge of condoms, and pills but less than half knew about implants or intrauterine devices. Age at first sex was similar for men and women but women were significantly less likely to have participated willingly in their first sexual encounter and were less likely to have used any contraception (for both pā€‰<ā€‰0.001). Almost all men and women (97.9%) had heard of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) but only 8% had heard about the most common STI, Chlamydia. Over 90% of youth reported feelings of shame as the major barrier to accessing SRH services.
Conclusions

Gaps exist between youth SRH knowledge and practices which leave them vulnerable to sexual ill health. This may indicate a lack of confidence in SRH services but also likely reflects the cultural and religious environment that hampers open expression of sexual and reproductive issues, particularly for young women.

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