Local youth need sex education

VietNamNet Bridge – Health experts are warning against increasing unprotected sex activities as young Vietnamese people are becoming more open about sexuality than ever before. Large numbers of young couples do not take necessary precautions to protect themselves and their partners.

Local youth, sex education, sexually transmitted diseases, prevent STDs

According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), one-third of young Vietnamese, especially minors, have yet to have access to sex education and birth control methods.

Doctor Nguyen Thi Ngoc Phuong, former director of Tu Du Maternity Hospital in HCMC, says the country sees a staggering 700,000 abortions a year on average. The city has a population of more than seven million people and 100,000 babies are born a year, equivalent to the number of abortions.

Every year, 45,000 women give birth but more than 30,000 others have abortions at hospital. Overall, women in the age range of 18 and 20 giving birth account for 5% and 15% respectively nationwide with the number of young unmarried people making up 30%.

Data of the Institute for Reproductive and Family Health under the Ministry of Health shows that Vietnam is one of the three nations having the highest rate of abortion. Particularly, there are 20 abortions a day with students and factory workers representing 30-40%.

Meanwhile, each year sees 800,000-1,000,000 infections of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Doctor Le Thi Thu Ha from Tu Du Maternity Hospital says safe sex is simply known as peace of mind in having sex without fear of STDs or unintended pregnancy. Common STDs include gonorrhea, syphilis, hepatitis B and C and HIV which do not show clear symptoms in the incubation period. As a result, people having sex with the infected are likely to contract diseases.

The best way to avoid catching STDs is to use condoms. Besides, condoms can help women avoid unintended pregnancy efficiently and abortions which risks their physical and mental health.

Doctor Kieu Thanh Ha from Children’s Hospital No.2 says that according to a survey, up to 90% of eighth-graders have boyfriends or girlfriends.

In a sex education course for children at a secondary high school in the city, Ha came up with a fun game in which students were required to put “Looking for information”, “Being in love” and “Having sex” in a sequence. Surprisingly, the results showed that most students chose “Having sex” in the first place, followed by “Looking for information” and “Being in love”.

The abortion rate among minors remains high due to premature sexual engagement and lack of knowledge about reproductive health while it is easy to look for a host of information about sexuality and porno. However, parents and schools still find it embarrassing to educate minors about the issue, she says.

Ha adds parents should not force their children to go against the psychological and physiological development but are responsible for teaching them the concept of safe sex to prevent STDs and unexpected pregnancy. Even though sexuality is a sensitive and private issue, parents should actively seek conversations with their children to talk about sexuality.

According to a psychologist in the city, a number of parents are wondering if they should speak of sexuality when their children reach puberty because they are worried that their children might have premature sex. However, it would be much more dangerous if they have no idea about safe sexual activities.


Local youth, sex education, sexually transmitted diseases, prevent STDs