Sexually transmitted diseases on rise among Singapore's teens

Sexually transmitted diseases including HIV infections are on the rise among Singaporean teenagers as a result of promiscuity and disregard for safe-sex practices.

Official figures showed that patients seeking medical help for sexually-transmitted infections in the 10-19 year age bracket more than doubled to 678 in 2005 from 256 in 2001, the Straits Times reported Saturday.

The age group's share of all such infections rose from 3.8 per cent in 2001 to 6.1 per cent last year, with more of them becoming infected with the HIV virus that often leads to full-blown AIDS.

Between 1985 and 2004, 18 teens were diagnosed as HIV-positive - about one new case every year.

Last year alone, four boys aged between 17 and 19 tested positive for HIV after having sex with men.

The report said counsellors who work with teens report they are now sexually active at a younger age and more are having unprotected sex with multiple partners, but there was also greater awareness of the need for testing.

Theresa Soon, assistant manager of a clinic run by the Department of Sexually-Transmitted Infections Control, told the daily that teens who showed up at the clinic have had an average of four sex partners.

Singapore has about 4.3 million people, a fifth of them foreigners.

Officials have expressed alarm over the growth of HIV infections but the government has rejected widespread promotion of condom use and instead partly blamed the problem on the gay community.

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1 comment:

Steven said...

The 2006 statistics in Singapore show more new cases of HIV infection among heterosexuals than homosexuals. www.health-screening.sg has information about screening for sexually transmitted diseases in Singapore.