YOUTH CONTRACT OF SOME SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS (STIs) IN EDO CENTRAL, NIGERIA

Article excerpt

Abstract

In Nigeria, as noted in the 'National Policy on Population for Sustainable Development', sexually transmitted infections (STIs) had constituted a silent epidemic or the major health problem for the country. Consequently, from a total of 783 randomly selected youth ages 10-24 years in Edo Central Nigeria, this study examined youth contract of some STIs. Data tended to reveal first, that the males were slightly in excess of the females among the respondents. Secondly, that the bulk of the respondents was 'never married' (84.6%). Thirdly, that majority of youth (76.7%) in Edo Central, Nigeria was engaged in educational activities, that is, as students. Finally, the prevalence of Gonorrhea, herpes simplex, Chlamydia, trachomatis, genital warts, syphilis, staph aureus and HIV/AIDS at 6.5, 0.4, 0.8, 2.6, 1.9, 1.0 and 1.3 percent among youth was found. It was, therefore, asserted in this study that STIs can cause infertility, serious illness, disability and death if left untreated. Hence, it is advised that youths should abstain from pre-marital sexual intercourse and consult a physician if they have STIs, among others.

Key Words: Youth, Contract, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), Pre-marital Sexual Intercourse, STIs Prevalence and Edo Central.

Introduction

Boyd, Haub and Cornelius (2000) have referred to youth as young people who are in the 10 to 24 years age group. Han, Coles and Hipps (1997); Burstein, Gaydos and Diener- West (1998); and Hilger, Smith and Adult (2001) have agreed that younger ages are strong risk factors of some sexually transmitted infections. Also, the Population Reports (1987) and (Sai, 2007) had identified sexually transmitted infections as most common adult infections.

As noted by Opaneye, (1999) and Opaneye and Ashton (2000), the social and economic consequences of most of the sexually transmitted diseases, and particularly repeated infections are considerable. For instance, ascending infections are the main causes of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). According to Hamerschlag (1998), adolescents are at greater risk of this complication with attendant legal implications, where they are sexually abused.

Unfortunately, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) has led to tubal blockade, chronic pelvic pain and ectopic pregnancy (Sherris and Fox, 1983; Silber and Woodward, 1985 and Sai, 2007). The incident has also caused substantial drains on private funds during adult years, marital disharmony and marriage failures or breakdown. It is partly for this reason that we have undertaken an empirical investigation of youth contract of some sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in Edo Central Senatorial District of Nigeria.

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are diseases transmitted through sexual intercourse and other forms of sexual intimacy (De La Torre, 1980; Population Reports, 1987; and Opaneye, 1999). Some of the major infections include gonorrhea, herpes simplex, Chlamydia trachomitis, genital warts, syphilis, staph aureus and HI V/ AIDS. Sexually transmittable infections have been major health problems for all regions of the world. As in Table 1 , sub - Sanaran Africa is a region of extreme for syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia and trachonomiasis at disease prevalence rates of 12.23, 57.71, 55.04, 119.18 for males and 15.39, 65.47, 65.95, 119.91 for females (per thousand) respectively. According to Opaneye (1999), these STIs have affected several thousand of people, worldwide and the victims may harbor more than one disease.

Furthermore, WHO ( in Sai, 2007) had recently reported four million, twenty million and twenty-five million cases of syphilis, genital herpes and gonorrhea respectively. Also, some large African cities had new gonorrhea infections of about 3000 per 10,000 population. Particularly, in Kenya, it was noted that the prevalence of gonorrhea, Chlamydia and syphilis were between 1 and 10, 6 and 12, 1 and 9 percent respectively. …