The proportion of men affected by a sexually transmitted illness is greater than that of women, according to the health authorities in Malaga province. Their figures show that 60 per cent of those affected by an infection caused by unprotected sex are men, and 40 per cent are women.
Looking at the situation of HIV-Aids infections, the difference is even greater, because more than 80 per cent of new cases diagnosed in Malaga are men. In the past five years, 1,011 new HIV-Aids cases have been registered in Malaga province.
The most common sexually transmitted illness diagnosed in Malaga is genital herpes (35 per cent), and it is also the one which has increased the most, followed by gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis.
Last year there were 16.5 cases of genital herpes per 100,000 inhabitants, 11.09 of gonococcal infection per 100,000 inhabitants, 9.02 of syphilis and 6.22 of chlamydia.
By age, most infections in men and women are occurring in the 15 to 45 age group. With regard to location, the health districts with the highest number of cases of genital infections in the province are the Costa del Sol and Malaga city.
Although the sharpest increase in venereal illnesses is among the young population, adults also lack sufficient and accurate information, and this not only means they do not protect themselves adequately during sexual relations, but also contributes to the spread of diseases.
María Jesús Alonso, vice-president of the Andalusian Contraception Society, says some studies show that on average girls have their first full sexual experience at the age of 16. The first time, the percentage of adolescents who use a condom is higher than on successive occasions. "Young people have a false sense of security in what they consider to be stable relationships," says Dr Alonso.