Young adults engage in sexual behaviors that increase the risk of contracting human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency virus (AIDS), sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and unwanted pregnancies. The focus of this descriptive study was knowledge and behaviors related to safe sex behaviors in young adults. Pender's Health Promotion Model served as the theoretical framework for the study. The following research questions were answered: What are the knowledge level of young adults about safe sex and what effect does knowledge about safe sex have on sexual behaviors of young adults? The target population included young adults who answered questions via the World Wide Web. A sample of 63 completed the Safe Sex Behavior Questionnaire, Knowledge of Safer Sex Practices Questionnaire, and a demographic data form. Descriptive statistics including frequencies and percentages were used to analyze the data. The findings of the study indicated that young adults have knowledge of safe sex practices, but their behaviors confirm that they 1 1 1 do not always practice safe sex. Nurse practitioners need to keep an open attitude about untraditional sexual practices so they can talk openly to clients who participate in different sexual practices. The nurse practitioner should discuss sexual practices with clients and assess for unsafe sexual practices so that the client can be given information on the prevention of HIV/AIDS, STDs, and unwanted pregnancies. Recommendations for further research included further studies to determine factors that influence health-promoting behaviors, particularly safe sex behaviors.


Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


Graduate Nursing

Degree Date


Publication Number


First Advisor

Melinda Rush

Document Type


Included in

Nursing Commons