Increase in Sexually Transmitted Infections in Armenia, Say Experts
Though the figures registered by sexually transmitted infection (STI) clinics in Armenia hardly vary, there is, however, a rise in STIs, said Gurgen Porsugyan, deputy director of the Scientific Medical Center of Dermatology and Genital Infections, and Vrezh Shahramanyan, a sexologist with the Department of Sexology at the Yerevan State Medical University, speaking to journalists in Yerevan today.
“That STIs are many is a fact, but not all who are infected are recorded, since patients see different doctors who they know, they treat themselves and so on. There’s a statistic in the world that states only 30–40% of STI cases are recorded. If our clinic sees 30–40 thousand patients a year, then you have to add that a few times and you’ll get the real picture,” said Porsugyan.
The clinic deputy director said that STIs are spread mainly among those who don’t take care of their personal hygiene and are not sufficiently informed.
“STIs are more prevalent among 16-40 year-olds, who are considered a target group. Sex workers are also a target [group]. In our clinic, 600–1,000 sex workers are tested annually,” said Porsugyan.
Adolescents and young people are also considered a target group, sexologist Vrezh Shahramanyan added: Compared to the past 5 years, the age when boys and girls in Armenia experience their first sexual act dropped.
“Research shows that boys first engage in a sexual act at age 14–15, while previously that age was 17–18. A drop in age was recorded also among girls, but it’s a bit difficult to say number-wise, since sexual desires for girls are more psychological in nature,” he said.
Shahramanyan noted that sexually transmitted infections can lead to infertility both among men and women, and the belief that women are mainly responsible for infertility is false.
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