A new study warns that teenagers who experience their first sexual intercourse at an early age are at high risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, HIV are major causes of medical and psychological issues globally.
‘For both boys and girls, the chance of getting sexually transmitted infections increased as the age of first sexual intercourse decreased.’The study was published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.
"This study shows that earlier initiation of sexual intercourse increases the odds of experiencing STIs. Also, as the age gap gets shorter, the odds of experiencing STIs increase. Our study suggests that it is important to consider the time period of first sexual intercourse and to reinforce a monitoring system along with the development of other preventive strategies," the researchers said.
The researchers from Yonsei University in Seoul used data from a Korean national survey of youth risk behaviors that is conducted annually by the Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
About 7.4% of boys and 7.5% of girls reported having STI. For both boys and girls, the chance of getting STIs increased as the age of first sexual intercourse decreased.