Why Should I Be Concerned about STDs?
If you are having sex with one or more partners, then you need to be concerned and know about Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD). Regardless of your age or number of partners, it is important to know the facts.
How common are STDs?
The United States has an epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Over 70 million Americans currently have an STD. This is roughly 20 percent of the entire US population. Nineteen million new cases occur each year. Half of these are in people under 25.
What causes STDs?
STDs develop from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) which can be caused by bacteria (chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis), viruses (HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, herpes, HPV), or parasites (trichomoniasis). Chlamydia is the most common STD. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common viral STD, and some strains can cause cervical cancer.
How do you get STDs?
You get STIs during sexual activity. This includes vaginal sex, oral sex, and anal sex.
Why are STDs called the “Silent Epidemic”?
* 25% of all American ages 15 to 55 are infected.
* 50 – 80% of those infected don’t know it.
* Those who know it, often don’t tell.
* Infections with no symptoms can still be spread.
Are condoms effective?
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention found after reviewing 138 scientific studies in June 2006* that there is no clinical proof that condoms are effective in reducing the risk of infection from chlamydia, genital herpes, HPV, syphilis, or trichomoniasis. Some protection was found for men against gonorrhea infection, but not for women. Condoms were found to reduce the risk of HIV/AIDS transmission during vaginal sex by 85% when used consistently (every time a person has sex, without exception) and “correctly” (following a specific 6 step procedure). Using condoms 100% of the time still leaves a 15% risk of HIV infection compared to not using condoms at all. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS, a non-curable disease.
What this means is that you can be infected with any STD even when using condoms 100% of the time.
Really, the only way to 100% completely prevent the transmission of a STI/STD is through abstaining from intercourse.
*Centers for Disease Control and Preventions, Department of Health and Human Services,
If you (or someone you know) suspects that you might have contracted and STD, you should contact your doctor immediately for an appointment.
However, if you are not ready to talk to a doctor, it could be helpful to discuss your symptoms, concerns and options in a confidential and helpful setting with someone who has answers. Feel free to contacts us at 913.962.0200 to speak with someone who can help you determine your next steps. Our staff is compassionate, knowledgeable and can offer the support and direction that you need.
At Advice & Aid, we encourage everyone to practice abstinence outside of marriage, and fidelity inside of marriage. Advice & Aid does not provide or prescribe birth control.