HIV and sexually transmitted infectios among youths: a brazilian perception
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Plax et al.1 recently published an article on the activities of their youth center—Supporting Positive Opportunities with Teens (SPOT)— among youths in St. Louis, Missouri, at risk for HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), with a special focus on diagnostic testing services. The purpose of the service is very interesting. The Brazilian national health system, the Sistema Único de Saúde provides access to diagnostic HIV testing, patient care and drug treatment free of charge to the entire population in various health services across the country and in most of the municipalities. Furthermore, free condoms and harm reduction kits are available to anyone who needs them for the prevention of various STIs. However, some reflections on the results presented by Plax et al.1 should be mentioned. In Brazil, a significant increase of HIV and other STIs was also observed among youths aged 15 to 24 years. There was a 120% increase in the number of new cases of HIV infection between 2004 and 2013 in this age group, and there was an increase in the infection rate among youths aged 17 to 21 years engaged in same-sex relationships.2 Several studies3---5 have shown that this increased vulnerability is associated with illicit drug use and nonadherence to condom use (data not shown in Plax et al.1). However, it should be highlighted that the current generation of adolescents who were not born when the AIDS epidemic started are less concerned about HIV infection. Communications of test results at the SPOT were made through phone calls, social networks, text messages or e-mail, including results of HIV testing.1 The authors stated that any youths who tested positive for HIV were linked to the linkage to a care case manager. The question is, what happened with the 20% who did not seek the service after being diagnosed with HIV? We are concerned about the psychological impact of receiving such results and not taking preventive measures to break the chain of HIV transmission through sexual practices.6 In Brazil, there is a process of pre- and posttest counseling, which involves adequate psychological support for receiving HIV diagnosis and adhering to drug treatment against the disease. The SPOT seems to be very useful to bring together youths in a safe environment and offer them free-of-charge services. However, besides the serological detection, little is said about which preventive measures have been discussed in this group and if this approach has reduced STI rates.
KeywordDoenças sexualmente transmissíveis.
xmlui.dri2xhtml.METS-1.0.item-subject-areaCiências da Saúde
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