Prevention as the most effective strategy to avoid spreading STDs among adolescents can be divided into three components.
Basic prevention is focused on sexual education as the key to ensure that adolescents get proper knowledge about STDs. Besides uninhibited talks between children and parents about sexual behavior, sexual safety and health issues in general, these matters have to be dealt with at school as early as possible.
Because of the policy to ensure the health of our youth, there is an urgent need for basic improvement of the policies regarding the media, for comprehensive and free medical services for children and adolescents and, obviously, for an adequate budget to guarantee the conditions for sexual education at school.
Advanced prevention is focused on already sexually active adolescents to help them to avoid acquiring an STD. This measure includes imparting knowledge about the correct use of condoms and the correlations between alcohol, drugs and STDs. Young people must learn that they are responsible for their own sexual behavior. And last but not least, all adolescents should have easy access to clinical services for STD screening of asymptomatic carriers or in cases of developing symptoms of STD.
Prevention of sequelae and spreading is focused on those adolescents who are already infected and/or are suffering from an STD. In order to avoid particularly serious sequelae such as PID, immediate gynecological treatment has to be implemented, the faster the more likely the chance of avoiding sequelae. Sexual partners should be included in both diagnostic and therapeutical measures to prevent reinfection of the girl and further spreading of STD.
Revision date: July 7, 2011
Last revised: by Janet A. Staessen, MD, PhD