Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are transmitted through sexual contact with an infected person and these infections are capable of causing health problems such as infertility. In Ireland, the majority of STIs have been on the increase since the early 2000s, particularly among young people aged 15-24 years old.


The aims of this study were to investigate the knowledge, prevalence, and perception of third-level students in Cork, Ireland regarding STIs and to generate incentives which may encourage and increase the number of students to attend STI screening or testing.


The survey created using Google Forms™ was distributed to registered students at University College Cork (UCC) and Munster Technological University, Cork (MTU). The questions were constructed based on similar surveys included in peer-reviewed papers. Ethical approval was received prior to commencing the survey. The collected data was statistically analysed via Microsoft Excel.


A total of 709 anonymous, valid, and voluntary responses were collected. Eighty five percent of respondents had received sexual health education at secondary school. Of 709 respondents, 673 (94.9%) believed that unprotected sexual activity could lead to the contraction of STIs. Over half (56.1%) of sexually active respondents were unaware of free STI testing available on both university campuses.


The majority of third-level students felt that their sexual health education was limited. The respondents lacked ample knowledge on the topic of STIs and were incapable of correctly answering all of the survey's questions.