OBJECTIVE--To examine the sexual behaviour and the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases among adolescent girls who attended the Genito-Urinary Medicine Clinic in Birmingham. DESIGN--Retrospective case control study. SETTING--The Genito-Urinary Medicine Clinic (Ward 19), General Hospital, Birmingham. SUBJECTS--159 adolescent girls aged 13-16 years; 215 female clinic attenders older than 16 years and 55 male partners of the adolescent girls. OUTCOME MEASURES--Number of sexual partners; contraceptive practice, and prevalence of sexually transmitted infections. RESULTS--The number of sexual partners was similar among the girls and controls. More girls than controls did not use any form of contraceptives, 49% versus 33.5% (p less than 0.01). The prevalence of bacterial vaginosis and gonorrhoea was significantly higher in the girls than in the controls (p less than 0.05). Compared with the girls and controls, the male partners of the adolescents had more sexual partners, and a higher prevalence of sexually transmitted infections--92.7%, 78.6% and 76.7% in the males, controls and girls respectively. CONCLUSION--The adolescent girls were associating with older men who had many sexual partners, and a higher prevalence of infections. By targetting these girls and their partners for counselling and health education the genitourinary medicine specialty can play a significant and positive role in adolescent sexuality.
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