Journal of Korean medical science 32(11) 1771-1778 doi 10.3346/jkms.2017.32.11.1771
There is limited research on sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among adolescents in Korea. The objective of this study was to explore the prevalence of and risk factors for STIs among Korean adolescents under probation. A cross-sectional analysis was conducted in one juvenile-delinquent center and five probation offices in Korea to determine the prevalence of STIs caused by the following pathogens: Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Trichomonas vaginalis, herpes simplex virus (HSV), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), Treponema pallidum, Mycoplasma hominis, Mycoplasma genitalium, Ureaplasma urealyticum, and Ureaplasma parvum. Of the 237 (208 male and 29 female) participating adolescents, 152 (64.1%) had a history of coitus. Overall, 133 (56.1%) subjects tested positive for at least one microorganism in their genitourinary tract. The most prevalent pathogen was U. urealyticum (24.7%, n = 65), followed by U. parvum (24.1%, n = 57), M. hominis (17.3%, n = 41), C. trachomatis (13.9%, n = 33), N. gonorrhoeae (1.7%, n = 4), T. vaginalis (0.8%, n = 2), and HSV (0.8%, n = 2). The prevalence of syphilis was 0.8% (n = 2). There were no reported cases of HIV infection. Fifty-four participants (35.5%) were positive with more than two pathogens. We did not find any significant difference between STIs and socioeconomic factors, behavioral factors or sexual practices. In conclusion, the prevalence of STIs among adolescents under probation was high. Systematic screening programs, more practical sexual education, and adequate provision of treatment are essential for the prevention and management of STIs among adolescents, especially those under probation.