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NEW DELHI, Sep 16, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Sex without condoms and with multiple partners is becoming a trend among India's adolescents, says a study by the health and family welfare ministry.
The study also said that the government was ready to give them "special attention" reports the Times of India.
"There is growing evidence from small case studies of an increase of premarital sexual activity, mostly among young males, but among young females as well," said the ministry's "India Country Report on Population and Development: 10 years since ICPD (International Conference on Population and Development)."
"Sexual relations among adolescents tend to start early, involve multiple partners and are often casual. They are also characterized by lack of contraception or condom use, and occasionally involve coercion and non-consensual experiences," the report said in a reference to the increasing incidence of rape.
Misconceptions among adolescents were widespread in "every aspect of sexual and reproductive health," it said, adding many were unaware of the links between sexually transmitted infections and HIV "or even the correct way of using a condom."
The report noted that young people in the age group of 10-25 years made up 50 percent of all new HIV infections and said, "Yet only 59 percent of adolescents know about condoms and 49 percent about oral contraception."
India has around 5.1 million HIV/AIDS patients.
Copyright 2004 by United Press International.