University students aged 17 to 24 years of age are prone to many risk factors.

OBJECTIVES: Identify risk factors related to exploring sexuality and characteristics of consumption of psychoactive substances in students attending medical school.

METHODS: 465 Medical students from Santa Casa of São Paulo Faculty of Medical Sciences (FCMSCSP) were prospectively and transversely evaluated during 2005. An anonymous, semi-structured, self-filling questionnaire was used. The average age of the students was 21.5 years, 43% females. 76.2% preferred alcohol, and 11.1% tobacco consumption; chloroethane (lança-perfume) consumption occurred in 22.6% and 15.3% consumption of other types of illicit drugs, with marijuana as the most used one (94%). 70.3%, of the parents drink alcohol and 30.5% smoke tobacco. As for the students' sexuality, 85.3% have already had sexual intercourses, starting at average age of 17. 88.8% used condom during the first sexual intercourse, however, 35.6% did not use it regularly; 5.4% had already had some type of DST. 79.8% of the females preferred having used contraceptive methods; however, 28.1% had a suspicion of pregnancy, which was confirmed in 7.9% of the cases. 9.9% of the students had ideas of abortion, 12.5% have effectively attempted it. 85% found medical school stressing and to relieve tension, 33.8% practiced sports; 6.9% preferred either licit or illicit drug consumption, and 5% used tranquilizers. The results showed risk behaviors: unsafe sex and the use of licit and illicit drugs indicated the need to establish guidance programs on reproductive health, improving self-esteem, and prevention during medical education.

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Published in International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, v. 20, no. 3, p. 321-328.

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