Background Issues related to sexual health among remote estate youth has gained a high priority in Sri Lanka.
General objective Describe the knowledge and practices related to sexual health of the youth in the tea plantation sector and conduct a pilot study on the sero - prevalence of common sexually transmitted diseases.
Specific objectives Explore the sexual health knowledge, educational needs and risk taking behaviours in the selected sample.
Methodology A descriptive cross sectional survey using a self administered questionnaire and interviews of 400 remote tea estate workers, aged between 18 and 24 years was carried out.
Results The sample consisted of 188 males (47%) and 212 females (53%), with a mean age 20.23 years. A total of 362 (90.5%) were able to read and write. Peers were their main source of knowledge (59%) and most reliable person to discuss sexuality ((55% with a 95% CI of 50% to 59%). The mean age of sexual debut for males was 12.56 (SD=1.88) and for females it was 16.21 years (SD=1.5). Eighty six percent of males had homosexual experience and 63% had more than one same sex partner. Their knowledge on STDs, HIV and available services were very low. None of the participants were test positive for HIV, Hepatitis B and Syphilis.
Conclusion Sexual health services are not sufficient to meet the needs of youth in the plantations and available services are not being delivered appropriately. A comprehensive, integrated sexual health service is needed for the youth and adolescents in the estate sector.