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Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Introduction Contents Post-Test References Go To Presenter Info


Section 1

- Introduction
- Overview
- Objectives
- Infections
- Most Common
- Ulcerative
- Non-Ulcerative
- Curable
- Incurable
- Factors
- Consequences
- Risk of HIV
- STD Control
- Transmitters
- Containing
- Social Norms
- Condom Use
- Management
- Challenges
- Program Level
- Women at Risk
- Reaching Men
- Adolescents
> Adolescents
- Reaching
- Prevention
- Management
- Summary

Section 2
Section 3


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Section 1 - STDs: An Overview

Program Level: Adolescents at Risk (continued)

Possible biological factors

  • Cervical ectopy (women)
  • Greater risk of infection at first exposure

Social factors

  • Limited access to services
  • Nonconsensual sex

Slide 24

Biological and social factors also put sexually active, unmarried young adults at high risk for STDs.

Female adolescents are at particularly high risk for STDs for possible biological reasons. They often have a condition called cervical ectopy, meaning the cells that line the inside of the cervical canal extend onto the outer surface of the cervix. These cells are more vulnerable to infections such as chlamydia and gonorrhea. In addition, the risk of acquiring trichomoniasis, chlamydia, herpes or HPV is considered to be greatest at first exposure to the STD. Because first exposure often occurs during adolescence, both male and female adolescents are particularly vulnerable.

Social factors increasing STD risks for adolescents include limited access to STD services. Access can be limited by adolescents’ embarassment, lack of independence or lack of money. Other factors include inconvenient clinic hours or locations, lack of confidentiality, unsympathetic clinic staff and legal restrictions.

Another social factor contributing to STD risk is adolescents’ relative lack of power in relationships with adults. Some adolescents experience nonconsensual sexual relationships with older, more powerful partners, with whom they may feel unable to negotiate safer sex practices.



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