Yuki Hatano writes:

Compared to other age groups, sexually transmitted diseases are most common in young people aged 15 to 24, and up to two-thirds of all new HIV infections are expected to be in this age group. And, pregnancy in adolescence carries a high risk of death or long-term complications. Maternal mortality rates at ages 15-19 are double the rates at 20-24 and the rates at ages 10-14 are five times higher in some countries. One cause of these two problems is that people in adolescence often act with little reason. And more, they are in the most sexually active period of their lives. (Of course, statistics show that the best time biologically for women to have a baby is from age 20 to 25.) But human-beings are social animals, we are responsible for our acts all the time. So adolescents can be defined as people who have enough ability for sex or having children physically or biologically, but maybe don't have enough ability socially. Additionally, many developing countries have a tradition of early-marriages. Perhaps it is because some don't go to school while others do, but not for long. Namely, they become independent at a very young age.

So what can we do for improving these problems? For example, we can give medical information (for instance, information on the death rate of babies whose mothers are adolescents, as well as information on abortion rates, safer sex, and so on) or data about the danger of sexually transmitted disease or pregnancy at a young age, and we can give economic help for education or public hygiene. Unsanitary circumstances lead to many kinds of diseases, so improvement of sanitation is essential. Both governemntal organizations and nongovernmental organizations can help. Especially, we, medical and para-medical students in adolescence can act more responsibly. The best way is to have adolescents who understand these problems discuss issues related to sex with other adolescents.

Why is this problem so important now? One reason is the menace of AIDS is rapidly spreading, and if we have accurate knowledge and follow it, it can be stopped! Second, we adolescents need to show we are interested in and thinking about the world's problems and can respond with action. Part of this is to criticize the present condition and help create a better world.

Other essays...