This research by Robin G. Sawyer PhD & Donald J. Moss MD Department of Health Education, University of Maryland, College Park, USA Men's clinic of the student health center, USA highlights the fact that in spite of the appearance of AIDS for almost a decade, doctors and educators worry that teenage sexual behaviour has still not changed and people are still very casual about this disease. An indicator is the prevalence of spreading Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) in a survey carried out on college students, there appears to be a reduction in unwanted pregnancies and spreading of sexually transmitted disease like Gonorrhea and Syphilis.
There was a slight rise in Syphilis cases in the late 80s which was mainly seen in teenage African Americans women. Also the appearance of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) in the form of genital warts had substantially increased during the late 80s, as it appears to be the most common STD in teenagers between ages of 18 to 24 years, mainly in the college campus. Risk factors of the HPV infection could be early age first intercourse, history of STD, multiple sex partners and cigarette smoking in the college campus environment. Habits such as sexual behavior, drug use, healthcare behaviour, etc. leads to STD spreading amongst the teenage population.
Researchers have identified that persons who had multiple partners were at a higher risk of Gonorrhea, Syphilis etc., whereas persons with increased number of sexual partners were at a risk of getting HPV, HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Syndrome) genital herpes, etc.
University students are considered a high risk for all these types of infection due to their carelessness regarding their sexual responsibility and behaviour. It was found out that the use of condoms was irregular. In this study all male first time University students were selected from a clinic, mainly meant for treating sexually transmitted disease.
Patients consent was taken and a questionnaire was filled after getting feedback from the students. The focus was done in three areas
1. Sexual behaviour.
2. Perceived risk for HIV infection.
3. Symptoms and diagnosis of STDs.
The most frequently diagnosed problem was HPV, with almost 34 percent of patients. It was also discovered that the most important factor linked to STD and HIV was almost negligible use of condoms. Such patients can be said to be at high risk for spreading of this disease.
Also many students waited for 2 to 5 months, hoping that the disease would go away on its own. This shows the carelessness and the way students underestimate this problem and indeed, this is a major cause of concern for health professionals.
Since Doctors are busy attending to patients; a health or a sex educator could supplement the efforts and spend more time with the students, counselling them and giving professional information, so that they are able to get the right information about this disease. Since these student groups form a high risk community, more educational efforts are needed to control the spread of STDs, especially HIV.
The limitations of this study was the small group size, but the results of this study hold much interest to continue with a larger study, including more survey items and questions for better analysis.
Compiled from various international research journals available at google scholar by D. Mukherjee having 38 years of pharmaceutical (Cardiac, Diabetic, Neurology, Pain & Inflammation products) experience with a Swiss Multinational Company NOVARTIS and edited by Dr Sandeep Ahlawat, MBBS