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The STDs are on the rise all over the world, and Ireland is no exception. Irish teenagers and young Irish adults believe that the social stigma that is attached to having a STD is worse than having unplanned pregnancy. A new study also showed that their awareness of sexually transmitted disease is quite high but their knowledge of STDs and STD symptoms is quite low. The report called The Voice of Young People is a study that tries to describe attitude to sexual and reproductive health of teens and young adults. Research included 18-20-year-olds and the parents of 14-16-year-olds.

The study found out that Irish teenagers are having sex earlier than 5 years ago. The vast majority reported to have sex for the first time between the ages of 16 and 17, while minority of 18-20-year-olds reported to having sex for the first time as young as 15 years old. The study also reported that the parents of 14-16-year-olds felt 15 years old was an appropriate age to start having sex most of them felt that being 18 years old is the age they want their child to engage in sexual intercourse. The main findings the report suggested and the findings that are actually alarming is the primary concern of social stigma when having STD and not the health consequences!

Additionally both males and females think that social stigma might be worse than having unplanned pregnancy. Almost all participants of the research claim that in case they would got infected with STD they wouldn't tell anyone if they got an infection, and that they wouldn't confront the individual from whom they got infected. The main reason for this is social stigma of having STD among young adults and the fear of discussing the issue in public, and even blame them as the source of the STI. And this is not the tip of the iceberg. A notable number of research participants, both male and female have had sex on more than one occasion without using a condom, and many indicated that they were drunk at the time of the intercourse.

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