You have the right to know…
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections that can be transferred from one person to another through sexual contact. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates there are over 15 million cases of STD cases reported annually in the United States. You can have an STD and have no symptoms for months…or even years…but, STD’s are contagious even if no symptoms are present. Sexually transmitted diseases and infections are spread through vaginal, anal and oral sex.
Women are often more at risk for STDs because their bodies don’t always display symptoms and damage can result. Infections can cause severe damage to delicate reproductive organs, resulting in infertility.
What are the most common STDs?
Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
For up-to-date facts and information on the above STDs/STIs click on the links below:
Medical Institute for Sexual Health
How many people are infected with an STD?
The South Dakota health Department released its infections disease report for 2008, showing some sexually transmitted diseases peaked at record levels.
Chlamydia cases reached an all-time high of 2,949, up more than 300. Reports of gonorrhea rose more than 29% to 371, the highest since 1988. The number of HIV/AIDS cases climbed back to the 2006 mark of 34. The report showed that STDs are still most often found in young people ages 15 to 24.
Source: The Associated Press January 13, 2009/Rapid City Journal
Who is most at risk?
Adolescents and young adults (15-24) are the age groups at the greatest risk for acquiring an STD. Approximately two-thirds of all people who acquire STDs are under 25. The Centers for Disease Control states that adolescents and young adults are at greater risk for many reasons, including:
- They may have less immunity than adults
- They may be more likely to engage in unprotected intercourse
- They may select partners at higher risk
- Age at initiation of sexual activity has decreased while age at first marriage has increased, resulting in more non-marital sexual experience
- They may be more likely to have multiple sex partners
According to former U.S. Surgeon General, C. Everett Koop, “when you have sex with someone, you are having sex with everyone they have had sex with for the last 10 years, and everyone they have had sex with for the last 10 years.”
Can’t I just go to the doctor for treatment?
While medical science has made great advances, the STD epidemic continues to grow. Chlamydia and gonorrhea can be “cured” with antibiotics, but can leave scars, which often require future treatment and may cause infertility. And certain strains of gonorrhea are becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics. Other STDs, such as herpes, AIDS, and genital warts, all of which are caused by viruses, have no cure.
Viral STDs pose a major problem, because no medical cure has been found for any virus-not even the common cold. This means if a person becomes infected with a viral STD (such as herpes, HPV or HIV) there is no cure. A vaccine for herpes has been rumored for years, but has not yet been produced. Antiviral drugs reduce the number of outbreaks a person with herpes experiences, they cannot eliminate the outbreaks entirely. A cure, or vaccine, for the HIV virus is probably years away. We do know, however, that even if vaccines or cures for these infections were available today-the STD problem would not be solved.
Source: Medical Institute for Sexual Health
How can I protect myself from STDs?
Well, there isn’t a pill to protect you from STDs and condoms just don’t cut it. The only way to protect yourself 100% from STDs is by practicing sexual purity. You might think, “Well, it’s too late for me…I’ve already made so many mistakes…” The truth is, though, that it’s not too late. You can make a change that will lead to a healthier life from this day forward! Hey, you are worth the wait!
STDs and Pregnancy…
CDC Resources on STDs and Pregnancy
The information contained on this site herein is for educational purposes only and is not meant for diagnosis or treatment. Any information found on this site herein should be discussed with a health care professional. Use of this information should be done in accordance with the health care plan outlined by your health care professional. For specific medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment, consult your doctor.