Greek teenagers, the majority of whom start their sexual life at the age of 15.5 years, have insufficient knowledge about contraception and sexually transmitted diseases.
This is the finding of a national poll on the knowledge of Greek youths in connection with the prevention of unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, the results of which were presented at the 12th National Congress of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
The poll revealed that 59.7% of the teens experience their first sexual intercourse at the age of 15.5 years and the average number of sexual partners is 1.9.
68.5% of the young people are aware of AIDS and 59% have information about syphilis and hepatitis, and 35% - about gonorrhoea.
As a prevention tool for sexually transmitted diseases, half of the young people (51.3%) indicated the condom and 15.9% - abstinence from sexual intercourse.
The majority of young people (92%) indicated the condom as the main contraceptive but only 37% have used it. Many of them indicated contraceptive pills as a good preventative measure (85.8%) and the tablets for the next day (84.6%).
"The low average age at which Greek teenagers start to have sexual intercourse, combined with the inadequate knowledge concerning contraception and the prevention from venereal diseases, require a coordinated strategy by all authorities to deal with the threat of an increase in the number of cases of unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases among adolescents," noted the scientists who presented the poll.
The poll was based on 5,000 questionnaires completed by students in the last year of secondary school at the average age of 17.4 years. It was conducted to inform young people about how to prevent against unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, especially the human papillomavirus causing cancer of the cervix.
The poll was conducetd by the Greek Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology, National School of Public Health, First Psychiatric Clinic of Aiginitio Hospital at the University of Athens, The Second Obstetrics and Gynaecology University Clinic and the Statistics Department at the London School of Economics.