A lack of sex education has pushed the rate of young people infected with STDs to a record high, a sexual health NGO has said in its latest study.

Photo: AIDS Concern.

Only 44 per cent of men interviewed by AIDS Concern used a condom when having sex with their partners every time, and only 20 per cent of the women did so.

The NGO carried out the survey between January and October, interviewing 493 young people aged 13 t0 25 – all of whom had one or more sexual experiences in the six months before the survey. Among them, 305 were men and 188 were women.

The reason given by 90 per cent of the men was that they did not see any significant symptoms of sexually transmitted disease in their partners, while 41 per cent of the women said that they were asked by their partners not to use a condom and that they only have one regular sex partner.

“These incorrect concepts are exposing youth to greater danger with sexual health,” AIDS Concern said.

Photo: AIDS Concern.

The survey also observed that 34 per cent of young women and nine per cent of men underestimated their risk of STDs. It also found that 11 per cent of the interviewees were infected – a record high, according to AIDS Concern.

Jim Hoe, a project manager at the NGO, said that there are still negative stereotypes attached to requests to use condoms.

“For example, if women take the initiative to ask for condoms, they are regarded as sexually promiscuous and casual. This notion greatly hinders the motivation of women to use condoms and increases their risk of getting sexually transmitted diseases,” Hoe said.

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.