To describe sexual behaviors and acceptability of receiving sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services among hospitalized adolescent males.
We performed a cross-sectional survey of hospitalized adolescents. Eligible participants were males aged 14 to 20 years admitted at 2 academic medical centers. Outcome measures included reported healthcare utilization, sexual health behaviors (eg, sexual activity), contraception use, and acceptability of SRH discussions during a hospitalization.
Among 145 participants, 42% reported a history of vaginal sex, 27% current sexual activity, 12% early sexual debut, and 22% 4 or more prior sexual partners. At last sex, condom use was reported by 63% and use of reversible contraception by 36%. Nearly half (45%) agreed that hospital-based SRH discussions were acceptable, particularly among those with history of sexual activity (P < .01). Some (12%) reported they had not accessed care in the past year when they felt they should.
Hospitalized males in our study had similar rates of sexual activity as compared with the general population but had higher rates of early sexual debut and number of prior partners, which are independently linked with negative sexual health outcomes (eg, sexually transmitted infections). Our participants found SRH discussions to be generally acceptable. These findings reveal opportunities to screen for unmet SRH needs and provide SRH education and services for adolescent males in the hospital.