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The perceptions of sexuality and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among adolescent STD patients: A qualitative study

      Highlights

      • The Adolescent STD Patients as a special group are focused on in this study.
      • The participants lacked sex and STD knowledge while holding an open attitude towards premarital sex.
      • The infection with STDs caused a negative influence to most of the participants.
      • Most parents and teachers were still conservative about sexuality education.
      • The results highlight the emergence and necessity of effective ways of sexuality education.

      Abstract

      Purpose

      To explore the causes and outcomes of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the adolescent STD patients (ASPs) in relation to their access to and interpretation of sexual and STD knowledge, their attitudes towards premarital sex, and their feelings and thoughts after getting STDs.

      Methods

      A qualitative study was conducted to interview 16 ASPs (12 males, 4 females) using convenience sampling. One-on-one, semi-structured, and confidential interviews were conducted in an outpatient clinic room at a dermatology hospital in Guangzhou, China. Data were analysed via thematic analysis with NVivo 12 software.

      Results

      Four main themes were derived from the data: sex education before getting STDs, cognition of the definition of STDs and their transmission, attitude towards premarital sex, and impact of infection with STDs. Most of the participants had very limited information about sexuality from their families or schools, lacked STD knowledge, and considered premarital sex as normal or common. Infection with STDs had a negative influence on all the participants, especially on female participants, as they felt ashamed and some even did not want to get married in the future.

      Conclusion

      Limited sex education, lack of sexual knowledge, and an open attitude towards premarital sex led to STDs among adolescents. This study highlights the importance of providing effective sex education. In addition, specific and targeted health guidance and suggestions should be provided to ASPs to help them deal with STDs and the life experience with STDs objectively and correctly.

      Keywords

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