Indifferent, ambiguous, or proactive? Young men's discourses on health service utilization for Chlamydia trachomatis detection in Stockholm, Sweden: A qualitative study
Larsson, Frida M.
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Introduction: Chlamydia trachomatis (C. trachomatis) infection is the most commonly reported sexually transmitted infection in Sweden and globally. C. trachomatis is often asymptomatic and if left untreated, could cause severe reproductive health issues. In Sweden, men test for C. trachomatis to a lesser extent than women. Aim: To explore factors facilitating and constraining Swedish young men's health care utilization for C. trachomatis detection and treatment. Method: A qualitative situational analysis study including data from 18 semi-structured interviews with men (21-30 years). Data collection took place in Stockholm County during 2018. A situational map was constructed to articulate the positions taken in the data within two continuums of variation representing men's risk perception and strategies to test for C. trachomatis. Results: Based on the informants' risk perception, strategies adopted to test and the role of social support, three different discourses and behaviours towards C. trachomatis testing were identified ranging from a) being indifferent about C. trachomatis -not testing, b) being ambivalent towards testing, to c) being proactive and testing regularly to assure disease free status. Several factors influenced young men's health care utilization for C. trachomatis detection, where the role of health services and the social support emerged as important factors to facilitate C. trachomatis testing for young men. In addition, endorsing traditional masculinity domains such as leaning on self-reliance, beliefs on invulnerability and framing men as more carefree with their sexual health than women delayed or hindered testing. Conclusion: Testing must be promoted among those young men with indifferent or ambivalent discourses. Health systems aiming to increase testing among those at risk should take into consideration the positive role that young men's social support have, especially the level of social support coming from their peers. Additionally, endorsement of traditional masculinity values may delay or hinder testing.
Is part ofPLoS ONE, 2021, vol. 16, núm. 9
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