Specialist in gynecology and obstetrics, Lucyla Baêta states that adolescents seldom use condoms and that although there is greater awareness of avoiding unwanted pregnancies, they are more careless when it comes to protecting against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
On the occasion of World Sexual Health Day, the hospital group insists on the need to increase awareness about prevention from an early age.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife, February 12 2019:- On the occasion of World Sexual Health Day, on Thursday, February 14, the Hospiten Gynecology and Obstetrics Service warns of the lack of use of condoms among young people and the increase in risk-taking that may lead to sexually transmitted diseases like Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), a serious problem for public health due to the extent it has spread and the complications and lasting effects if not diagnosed and treated in the early stages.
"The World Health Organization recognizes the efficacy and safety of vaccination against HPV, which in Europe helps to fight 80% of cervical cancer cases caused by the virus," explains the specialist in Gynecology and Obstetrics at Hospiten Bellevue, who considers vaccination to be essential from the age of 14, since at this age the immune system of adolescents responds better to the vaccine.
According to WHO data, STDs in general have profound effects on sexual and reproductive health worldwide and are among the five main reasons for which people seek medical care. "In fact, according to statistics, the number of young people victims of venereal diseases is growing. And the reason may lie in that society in general is currently more aware of the need for protection against unwanted pregnancies, but is much more careless regarding the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, which in addition to the immediate effects of the infection itself, can seriously affect the health, for example causing infertility".
It is essential to distribute information on the prevention of STDs at an early age. For this to be possible there must be adequate, timely information and sexual education. Therefore, at Hospiten an adolescent health unit has been created within the specialty of gynecology, aimed at informing, educating, disseminating information, preventing and detecting sexually transmitted diseases in a timely manner.
The hospital group insists on the need to improve communication channels with adolescents and stresses the importance of consulting the doctor about any doubts they may have on the use of contraceptive methods, the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases or for guidance and advice on safe sexual practices.
Dr. Baêta speaks of the need for and convenience of general sexual health education in schools and high schools, in addition to parents discussing these matters with their children, particularly in the light of the growing number of adolescents with sexually transmitted diseases. "The first visit to a doctor does not necessarily have to be invasive, nor invade the privacy of a young person - it should serve only to inform of and explain preventive measures available, since young people are responsible for their own health and the impact they can have on the health of others", she adds.
Latest data in the Canary Islands
Data collected by the National Epidemiological Surveillance Network confirm an increase in cases of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), such as syphilis, gonorrhea or chlamydia, in Spain and, more specifically, in the Canary Islands.
"We must not forget that every year HPV infection causes 528,000 cases of cervical cancer in the world and more than 500 deaths in Spain alone. Or that gonorrhea and chlamydia are major causes of pelvic inflammatory disease, with an adverse outcome on pregnancy and infertility", adds the specialist.