Female Swedish backpackers in Vietnam: A hypotheses generating study on sexual health risks while travelling.

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: According to previous studies, foreign travellers and backpackers are at increased risk of sexually transmitted infections (STI). Concurrently, STI incidence, especially Chlamydia, is increasing among young Swedes. Our objective was to investigate Swedish backpackers' own view of sexual health and risks while travelling, with the purpose to identify hypotheses for further, more extensive research. METHOD: In-depth semi-structured interviews were carried out in Vietnam with four Swedish women in their early twenties. The interviewees had been travelling throughout South East Asia for a period of at least two weeks. RESULTS: There were large differences between the respondents regarding perceived health risks in relation to food safety, STI, and alcohol and drug use; and to what extent their behaviour while travelling deviated from their normal one. In contrast, the interviewees shared a perceived lack of knowledge about sexual health abroad. CONCLUSIONS: The study identified six hypotheses and suggestions for preventive measures that could be analysed in future research. The study demonstrated that sexual behaviour as well as attitudes and norms were strongly linked to the individual level, rather than to the group of backpackers.

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  • Infectious Medicine
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-249
JournalTravel Medicine and Infectious Disease
Volume11
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes