2017 was a year of record-breaking news!
- Tennis player Serena Williams became the first tennis player to win 23 Grand Slam titles.
- Hawaii produced the world’s largest avocado, weighing in at 2.3 kg (a little over 5 pounds!).
- Nearly 2.3 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis were reported to the CDC, a number that exceeded the previous 2016 record by more than 200,000 cases.2
Did you catch that?
Not only has the number of STD cases continued to rise over recent years, but STD rates in the United States are now at an all-time high.
In Part 1, I talked about the chemical bond sex creates between two individuals, so now let’s talk about reason #2 why sex can wait: Infection.
Let’s look at the facts:
- 1,708,569: The number of Chlamydia infections reported, making it the most common notifiable condition in the United States.2
- 555,608: The number of Gonorrhea cases reported, making it the second most common notifiable condition in the United States.2
- Gonorrhea cases increased 6% since 2016.2
- 30,644: The number of primary and secondary Syphilis cases reported.2
- Syphilis cases increased 5% since 2016.2
While these numbers are alarming, the buck doesn’t stop here.
Did you know STD rates in the U.S. are HIGHEST among adolescents?
- 1,069,111: The number of reported Chlamydia cases among persons aged 15–24 years, representing 62.6% of all reported chlamydia cases.1
- 622.8 per 100,000: The rate of reported cases of Gonorrhea among women aged 15-24 years.1
- 9.8%: The rate of increased reported primary and secondary Syphilis cases in persons aged 15–19 years since 2016.1
And finally, the real kicker:
The CDC has found that “young people aged 15–24 years acquire half of all new STDs and that one in four sexually active adolescent females has an STD.”1
Parents and caring adults, we have a problem.
Let’s forget the numbers for a moment and talk sports. Don’t leave me now, I promise this has a point!
Hypothetically speaking, let’s say East High School has a basketball team. On that team, there are 16 players. On any given day, 8 of those 16 players has a sprained ankle. It’s a repeated problem and, even though players are told to be careful and try not to get another sprained ankle, it keeps happening anyway.
Now, if that were the case, wouldn’t one think the basketball team may need a little more help? Maybe they aren’t stretching properly. Maybe they aren’t wearing the right kind of shoes. Maybe they aren’t organized well on the court, causing a lot of mistakes like tripping. Whatever it may be, wouldn’t we all agree that this particular basketball team needs a little more instruction so they might avoid spraining their ankles in the future?
I think so!
And that’s just it.
Young people need to know their risks. They need to know how prevalent these dangerous diseases are. They need to know that, while proper condom use 100% of the time can be effective in reducing the spread of many STIs, they don’t provide 100% protection.
Did you know STIs like Syphilis, Herpes, and HPV are spread from skin to skin contact, not through bodily fluids? Because condoms don’t cover the entire genital area, they are less effective at preventing the spread of these STIs. The only way to effectively avoid contracting an STI is to practice abstinence.
It’s not about right vs wrong, it’s about healthy vs unhealthy. At CPR, we believe in informing people about the real risks risky behavior presents. Our goal is to equip people with facts and then empower them to use those facts to make the healthiest life choices they can; healthy life choices like abstinence until marriage.
In Part 1, you read about the neurochemical bonding that takes place during sex, and now about the prevalence of STIs among young people, but have you ever heard about rose-colored glasses? Look for Part 3 coming soon!
Talking points to engage with the young people in your life:
- What do you know about STIs or STDs?
- What do you want to know about STIs?
- Reiterate that NOT everyone their age is having sex.
- “Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance 2017.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 24 July 2018, www.cdc.gov/std/stats17/adolescents.htm.
- “Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance 2017.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 24 July 2018, www.cdc.gov/std/stats17/natoverview.htm.