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    Albania: STDs and youth culture.

    Legins K; Saraci O

    ENTRE NOUS. 1999 Spring; (42):9.

    The exposure of Albania to the popular culture of the modern world has paved the way for the emergence of STDs that were practically unknown some 20 years ago. Ever since the first cases of HIV and syphilis were diagnosed in 1994 and 1995, respectively, physicians have had difficulty in assessing patients due to their lack of knowledge of STDs. Together with emerging health concerns, traditional stereotypes of individuals with STDs have also surfaced in Albania; these usually associate STDs with prostitutes and refugees. Lack of STD knowledge, lack of anonymity in health care centers, current myths about STD transmission, and the return of Albanian refugees are among the challenges which Albanian youth have to overcome. In response to this, the UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund), WHO and the Academy for Educational Development are launching a project that will educate Albanians about the risks of STDs and HIV, in addition to its maternal health projects. A recent information, education, and communication (IEC) roundtable participated in by over a hundred Albanian professionals has discussed problems and priorities that will facilitate a national IEC strategy. STDs, HIV, AIDS, maternal mortality, unwanted pregnancy, and abortion are the problems of greatest concern. The roundtable identified young people, women and service providers in rural areas as target groups with the greatest need of IEC interventions.
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