Concerned about STD’s?
If you are unmarried and having sex with one or more partners, than you need to know about Sexually Transmitted Diseases.
How common are STDs?
The United States has an epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Over 70 million Americans currently have an STD. 19 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 (eg, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis), viruses (eg. HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, herpes, HPV), or parasites (trichomoniasis). Chlamydia is the most common STD. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common viral STD.
How do you get them?
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, chancroid 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 routinely fatal disease.
What this means is that you can be infected with any STD even when using condoms 100% of the time.
*Centers for Disease Control and Preventions, Department of Health and Human Services, Workshop Summary: Scientific Evidence on Condom Effectiveness for Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Prevention June 12-13, 2000, found at http://www.niaid.nih.gov/dmid/stds/condomreport.pdf, (a review of 138 scientific studies concerning condom effectiveness published July 20, 2001).