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Core group approach to identify college students at risk for sexually transmitted infections. Centro de Investigaciones sobre Enfermedades Infecciosas. The number of sexual partners in the last year and cocaine consumption were used as indicators to construct the dependent variable "level of STI risk" in three categories: low, medium and high risk core group. A multinomial analysis was conducted to evaluate whether different sex behaviors were associated with the variable "level of STI risk".
There were gender differences regarding the core group. Men started having sexual intercourse earlier, had more sex partners, higher alcohol and drug consumption, higher frequency of sex intercourse with sex workers, exchanging sex for money, occasional and concurrent partners compared to women.
In Mexico, the cultural conception of sexuality is determined mainly by gender differences where men engage in higher risky sexual behavior than women. Descriptors: Students. Sexual Behavior. Risk Factors. Socioeconomic Factors. Descritores: Estudantes. Comportamento Sexual. Fatores de Risco. Estudos Transversais. Descriptores: Estudiantes. Comportamiento Sexual. Factores de Risgo. Estudios Transversales. Different conceptual frameworks have been developed to describe the propagation of an infectious agent among people.
Yorke et al 23 were the first to observe that gonorrhea was nonrandomly distributed in the US population. They found that the population is quite heterogeneous, formed by groups according to age, sex, sexual behavior, geographic location, and socioeconomic status, and then they divided them into two groups based on frequency of new sexual encounters and defined a core group consisting of individuals who were very sexually active and efficient transmitters of gonorrhea.
As a result, a small core group was shown to have a significant role in the spread of gonorrhea. More recently, some authors have taken different approaches for the implementation of core group research. The objective of the present study was to analyze college students at risk of acquiring STIs. The strategy used to approach the university authorities and students is described elsewhere.