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Sexually Transmitted Infections and Adolescence

Acta Dermatovenerologica Croatica; [email protected]
Publication Date
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections
  • Adolescence
  • Sexual Education
  • Biology
  • Education
  • Medicine


305 Acta Dermatovenerol Croat 2010;18(4):305-310 REVIEW Sexually Transmitted Infections and Adolescence Suzana Ljubojević, Jasna Lipozenčić University Hospital Center Zagreb, Department of Dermatology and Venereology, School of Medicine University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia Corresponding author: Assist. Professor Suzana Ljubojević, MD, PhD University Hospital Center Zagreb Department of Dermatology and Venereology School of Medicine University of Zagreb Šalata 4 HR-10000 Zagreb Croatia [email protected] Received: August 10, 2010 Accepted: October 12, 2010 SUMMARY Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) remain a public health problem of major significance in most of the world. Adolescents make up about 20% of the world population, of whom 85% live in developing countries. They are at a greater risk of STIs because they frequently have unprotected inter- course, biologically may be more susceptible to infection, often are engaged in multiple monogamous relationships of limited duration, and face multiple obstacles in accessing confidential health care services. Young people who begin to have sexual intercourse in early or middle adolescence are more likely to develop an STI than those who postpone intercourse until later adolescence or adulthood. The most common STIs among ad- olescents are chlamydia, gonorrhea, human papillomavirus in- fection, and trichomoniasis. Unfortunately, lately the incidence of HIV/AIDS and syphilis among adolescents is growing. Com- prehensive sex education programs in schools can increase STI knowledge and prevent risky sexual behaviors. Health care providers can promote STI prevention methods, including counseling about safe sex. KeY woRdS: sexually transmitted infections, adolescence, sexual education INTRodUCTIoN With nearly 20 million cases occurring annu- ally, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) con- tinue to persist as a major public health issue all around the world (1). Half of these infections occur a

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