BlessWorld Foundation International

Affecting the World Through Health
A Global Health Initiative

Sexual Health Problems: A Global Matter



These past weeks we’ve deliberated on the topic, Adolescent health- discussing various aspects of their health including physical and sexual health. In this write-up, we’ll focus specifically on the sexual health of this group- particularly in the areas of sexual behaviour. Some negative sexual behaviors among adolescents include unprotected sex, sex experimentation and having multiple sexual partners. These behaviors in turn result in unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and sex addictions.

Sexual health problem in adolescents is indeed a global matter because it affects all countries and races alike. Additionally, adolescents behave in similar predictable patterns irrespective of their origin or location. Consequently, this group constitute significant sexual disease burden globally. Adolescents engage in negative sexual behaviors for several reasons. First, they’re young, naïve and unable to make good judgment and decisions due to lack of understanding or experience. Secondly, many adolescents are irresponsible and careless because they’re not accountable for their actions and behaviours as their parents are still responsible for them. Thirdly, peer influence is a common reason why adolescents engage in sexual behaviors members of their group consider trendy. Finally, a study on the influence of genetic composition on adolescent behaviors reveals there are unique individual differences due to genes, among adolescents in how and when they become sexually active adults as well as the behaviors they adopt.

Sexual risk behaviors such as unprotected sex place adolescents at risk for HIV infection, other STDs and unwanted pregnancies. According to CDC, approximately 230,000 babies were born to adolescents in 2015. More so, 20 million new STDs are reported annually among adolescents, who also account for about 22% of all new HIV diagnoses in the United States. Data from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBS), which monitors health risk behaviors in adolescents showed low rates of testing for HIV, high rate of substance use preceding sexual intercourse, low rates of condom use during sex and multiple number of sexual partners.

To reduce sexual risk behaviours and associated problems among adolescents, there’s need for a global education about HIV and other STDs. This includes knowing and understanding their transmission and prevention, as well as which behaviors place individuals at greatest risk for infection. STDs awareness and education should be universally integrated into all forms of educational environments to reach this group.

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