Young People in Parts of Costa Rica Have Limited Knowledge of HIV/AIDS, Practice Unsafe Sex, Report Says
February 26, 2009
Young people in Costa Rica's coastal cities of Limon and Puntarenas have limited knowledge of HIV/AIDS transmission and prevention methods, and many practice unsafe sexual behaviors, according to a report released Tuesday, Xinhua News Agency reports. Costa Rica released the report during an event launching an agreement between the government and UNICEF to implement a joint HIV/AIDS program targeting young people in the two cities.
According to Marco Fournier, coordinator of the study, the report's findings are "worrying," because "there is a very low knowledge level and the teenagers barely have 40% of the information they need" to prevent HIV and other risks associated with unsafe sex. He added, "The problem is not the frequency the youngsters have sexual relations, but the conditions in which they have them -- with little knowledge, without condoms, one-off relations and with people older than they are." Fournier said he also is concerned about reports that 14% of young people in Puntarenas have had sexual relations against their will. According to Fournier, the study demonstrates the need for significant changes in Costa Rica's sex education programs (Xinhua News Agency, 2/24).
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.