Hong Kong Journal of Paediatrics

Volume 7 Number 2, April 2002

Sexually Transmitted Infections in Adolescents

SY Cheng, KK Lo

Adolescents are at high risk for acquiring sexually transmitted infections. In particular, genital chlamydia infection and gonorrhoea predominantly affect adolescents. There is also an increasing reservoir of asymptomatic patients who are infected with genital human papillomavirus, herpes simplex and human immunodeficiency virus. Multiple factors contribute to the increased risk of acquiring sexually transmitted infections in adolescents, including psychosocial development, socio-cultural changes, biological susceptibility and sub-optimal health care access. From 1991 to 2000, the Social Hygiene Service has recorded an increase in the incidence of all types of sexually transmitted diseases from 12446 to 28541 for all patients and from 394 to 976 for adolescent patients. The increment in both groups was largely due to an increase in incidences of non-gonococcal urethritis in men and nonspecific genital infection in women. Target group oriented preventive programs which base on behavioural interventional therapies should be enhanced. In addition, the ABC rules of prevention of sexually transmitted infections should be publicized to all teenagers. (HK J Paediatr (new series) 2002;7:76-84)

Key words : Adolescent; Hong Kong; Sexually transmitted infections


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