Surveillance of STI risk behaviour among young people attending a music festival in Australia, 2005-08

Aust N Z J Public Health. 2009 Oct;33(5):482-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-6405.2009.00434.x.


Objective: To explain rising rates of sexually transmitted infections it is necessary to monitor trends among high risk groups, such as youth. Surveillance of risk behaviours and testing among a variety of populations in different settings is required. We monitored self-reported sexual behaviour among music festival attendees.

Methods: Cross-sectional studies of young people's behaviour were conducted annually at a music festival between 2005 and 2008 using self-administered questionnaires. Logistic regression, adjusted for age and gender, determined trends in risk behaviours.

Results: More than 5,000 questionnaires were completed. The proportion reporting multiple sexual partners in the past year remained stable from 2005 to 2008 and condom use with these partners increased. Reporting a new sexual partner in the past three months decreased, while condom use with new partners increased. Reporting a casual sexual partner increased and condom use with casual partners remained stable. Reporting a recent STI test increased from 23% in 2006 to 32% in 2008.

Conclusions and implications: Despite increases in STI notifications, most risk behaviours are decreasing in this group, possibly as a function of increased STI testing. Music festivals are a useful setting for monitoring behaviour trends within a sub-population of young people at relatively high risk of STIs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Music*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Population Surveillance*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / etiology
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / transmission
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult