Intended for healthcare professionals

Education And Debate

adolescent behaviour should be priority

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 08 April 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:894
  1. Stephen J Genuis, associate professor (,
  2. Shelagh K Genuis, research librarian1
  1. 12935-66 Street, Edmonton Alberta, Canada T6K 4C1
  1. Correspondence to: S J Genuis

    Early sexual intercourse is commonly associated with a higher number of lifetime sexual partners1 and, consequently, a higher risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections. From the perspective of sexually transmitted infection, sexual encounters include not only present partners but also past partners and all of their partners' partners. Thus voluntarily delaying sexual debut is of key importance in the prevention of sexually transmitted infections and the promotion of long term health.

    The ABC approach to changing sexual behaviour described by Shelton and colleagues can be used as a primary strategy for tackling all sexually transmitted infections. Since the World Health Organization estimates that two thirds of sexually transmitted …

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