Yes there is a problem with (not only young) people here. From anecdotal evidence (talking with people about their sexual experience) both foreigners and locals here seem to quite generally be not really aware plus sometimes not really caring about safe sex. Even people that I would have thought MUCH smarter admitted having unprotected casual sex. One foreigner even told me that lots of his local booty calls are OK with him not wanting to use condoms. OUCH! And yes I asked them if they learned about safer sex in school… yep they did, they even teach a bit about that in Taiwan. Some just didn’t care, and some just “forgot” about it in the heat of…uhm… yeah, in the heat. Or even didn’t dare to ask/mention anything.
I feel casual sex should be only a personal moral issue, if at all - but heck, people even thinking about not protecting themselves (and others!) really freaks me out! In any recent age and time there were various STDs prevalent enough to make protection mandatory in all cases where there was no CHECK that both partners are OK a long enough time before switching to unprotected sex. And HIV is not the biggest concern for that, it can be nagging little things as relatively harmless as UTI.
And I am not even starting to talk about oral sex here, where I feel there are no generally accepted and available safe sex solutions as with intercourse. I mean which girl likes the taste of condoms, and which guy really uses a dental dam when going down?
With EVERY sexual contact, make sure you are at least aware what’s the risk, and (unless tested reliably) always assume that both you and the partner potentially carry some STDs that you are not aware of. Yes, there are lots of STDs where the symptoms can not be seen by the naked eye, or there are no symptoms at all, and you don’t feel it either. Do not assume if you don’t see anything or feel there is nothing.
Don’t be scared of sex, and don’t let thinking about safety too much destroy the fun of it. But at least be aware of all the potential risks.
One example safe sex chart can be found here, no doubt there are more and better ones: