1.1 Background Information
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) are major Health problems affecting young people not only in developing countries but also in developed countries. Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) on the other hand has been receiving a lot of attention worldwide. Several studies have reported high rate of prenatal sexual activities among Nigeria adolescents (Rita, Kolawole & Yemisi, 2014).
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) are illnesses that have significant probability of transmission between human by means of sexual activities including vaginal intercourse, oral sex, and anal sex. STI is a broader term than Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD). STIs may refer only to infections that are causing diseases or it may be used more loosely as a synonym for STD (Simon, 2014).
Sexually Transmitted Infections are those diseases that are contracted mainly through sexual intercourse. They include curable ones like Gonorrhea, Syphilis and Chlamydia infections as well as incurable but modifiable ones like the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Herpes, Simplex, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and Hepatitis B infections (Amu & Adegun, 2015).
Adolescent, any young adults aged 15-24 years are more at risk for STIs than older adults. The World Health Organization (WHO, 2012) estimates that 20% of persons living with HIV/AIDs are in their 20s and one out of 20 adolescents’ contract an STI each year. Youth are more likely to practice unprotected sex, have multiple sex partners, and have trans-generational and transactional sex. The cervical lining in female adolescents and young women makes them more predisposed to STIs. In addition, they may have problems getting the required information, services, and supplies they need to avoid STIs.
And indulge I sexual activities just for the reason of experimentation and peer influences, owing to a wealth of uncensored information they are exposed to through am intensifying wave of westernization, the internet, and electronic media coupled with a shallow knowledge and nonchalant attitude about the dreaded STIs infections and HIV. Several studies have reported high rates of premarital sexual activities among Nigerian adolescents. Over 16% of teenage females reported first sexual intercourse by age 18. Study have shown that, adolescents who begins sexual activity early are likely to who have sex with more sexual partners, and with partners who have been at risk of STIs and HIV exposure (WHO, 2012).
Rita, Kolawole and Yemisi (2014) stated that, actions taken during adolescents can affect a person’s life opportunities, behavioral patterns and Health Aids is a disease that can damage any of the body’s major organ systems because STIs especially HIV destroys immune system cells. Because of immune system cells are destroyed, a wide variety of infections and cancers can take advantage of a person's weakened immune system (opportunistic infections), although they are usually not fatal. STIs can leads to major pregnancy complications, secondary infertility and serve discomfort. They may also experience difficulties in accessing STI prevention services because they do not know where to find them, do not have transportation to get there, or cannot pay for the services because they may not feel comfortable in places that are not youth friendly (Amu & Adegun, 2015).
WHO (2013a) stated that, adolescents are people between 10-19 years of age. Individual with this age range have passed through childhood but not yet considered adult, as adolescents are keen to try new things, often without thought for their consequences. This second decade of life is thus fraught with dangers, including threats to health. Also said many people have sexual intercourse for the first time in their teen years, yet numerous studies reveals that adolescents are poorly informed about and have negative attitude towards STIs prevention. Adolescents are generally known to display high risk behaviors that make them vulnerable to contracting and transmitting STIs including HIV/AIDs as well as having unplanned pregnancy and developing poor general reproductive health.
Untreated or poorly treated STIs are associated with a lot of complications. In males, gonorrheal as well as Chlamydia trachoma is infection causes epididymitis which can result in infertility in future. In additions inflammatory urethral stricture may arise from poorly treated gonococcal urethritis in the future. This may leads to urine retention and possibly chronic renal failure if not properly managed. For the females, pelvic inflammatory diseases, dyspareunia, infertility, chronic pelvic pain, increased risk of ectopic pregnancies, abortions, still birth, perinatal and neonatal morbidities can occur (Adegun, Solomon, Adegoke, Ade, Ojo & Fape, 2013).
According to WHO (2013), high rate of teenage pregnancies and increasing numbers of STIs in adolescents have lead to more attention being paid to adolescent sexual and reproductive health worldwide. Within western European, teenage pregnancies and STIs are the problem in the United Kingdom, where the annual rate is 47 per 1000 (WHO, 2009). Reason which have been given for the observed or differences in outcomes include poverty ethnicity or migrant background, parental level of education, family structure and functioning, societal influences such as family, friends and communities, cultural attitudes and access to education and health care services (Satellite & Schalet, 2009).
Knowledge of STIs and their complications is important for adequate prevention and treatment, as people who do not know the symptoms may fail to recognize their need and some may not seek help or knowledge of their STIs apart from HIV/AIDs which is low in the developing world. Sales, Milhansen and Diclemente (2006) did a study on 194 female adolescents and found out that STI related shame and stigma is a barrier for adolescents seeking treatment and help with STI diagnoses. Especially those who presented higher STI related stigma were less likely to seek help yet they found that a person presenting a high level of shame would imitate health promoting behavior changes , such as using condom during intercourse, to prevent getting an STI. Even though STI related shame is an unpleasant feeling, it might be an important motivation to prevent the spreading of STIs.
1.2 Statement of the Problem