General population

toolkit material

In the general population four additional indicators are proposed: 

1) Age at first intercourse and/or being sexually active (having had sexual intercourse in the last 12 months), as detailed in the table below.

Title & definition: Age at first intercourse* and/ or being sexually active in the last 12 months 


Purpose and rationale  To assess long term trends in age at first intercourse, to assess the proportion of young people having sex at a very young age
Measurement frequency

 Every 4-5 years in the general population and young people

Strengths and weaknesses Simple
Additional sources of information  * allows for construction of UNGASS indicator No 15: percentage of young women and men aged 15-24 who have had sexual intercourse before the age of 15. Also similar to HBSC indicator: percentage of sexually active in 15 year olds.


2) Recent STI (in the last 12 months): this indicator of risk is seen as important; however, as no commonly agreed satisfactory indicator is currently available, more research is needed and no specific definition is proposed.

3) Concurrency (in the last 12 months): this indicator measuring the simultaneous existence of several partners over a given period is also seen as important. However, as yet, there is no  commonly agreed indicator.

4) Types of drugs consumed (in the last 12 months): this indicator has been mentioned as relevant in several countries and populations. Several sets of questions related to drug consumption exist, many of them are context- or age- dependent (ESPAD survey (l) , WHO-HBSC survey (m) , EMCDDA treatment demand indicator TDI  for IDU (n), etc.), and can be used for cross country comparison in defined populations; no indicator common to all populations is proposed.