April: STD Awareness Month

21 04 2011

There are an estimated 19 million new cases of STDs each year in the United States.  That’s too many.  We can significantly cut that number down.

April, the STD Awareness Month, is a time to shine a light on sex and disease.

STDs know no age limits, they can be visible or invisible and, yes, they can even affect our own sons and daughters. STDs also have a serious economic impact, with direct medical costs estimated at $17.0 billion annually  in this country alone.

The majority of STDs are preventable. Just by having a frank discussion with our partners, and using the appropriate protection, we can prevent most sexually transmitted diseases.

These are practical resources to help individuals and parents learn more about STDs and how to deal with current or potential infections:

There is never anything embarrassing about protecting our health. So wrap it up, protect yourself and keep STDs at bay!

(Photo courtesy of Andy54321)





Keep Our Kids Safe

5 05 2009

Abstaining from sex is a good way not to get a sexually transmitted infection.

To get through life without any such infections, there are two choices: never have sex – ever, or never have sex except with a partner who has never had sex with anyone else, and never will.

give them the info they need to stay safe

give them the info they need to stay safe

As parents, it’s hard for us to think about our children growing up and becoming intimate with anyone, but, giving them narrow choices such as are described above is risky.  Most of our teens and young adults want to heed our wishes and even, occasionally, our rules, but there are few perfectly obedient people in this world.

Rather than risking our children’s lives by assuming they will only do as we say, the safer choice seems to be arming our children with as much knowledge about disease prevention as possible, while continuing to share our values and beliefs.

To protect them, we tell them what we want, what we expect, and why, but we include the information they need to stay as safe as possible, should they make risky choices.  Better they know how to have safe sex but not need the information, than need the info and not have it.





STDs

18 02 2009

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that new cases of common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are on the rise in the United States. 
 
Almost 19 million of these new infections occur each year, and about half of those infected are between the ages of 15 and 24.  This is the age group that usually bears the brunt of new infections, with women and minorities more likely to be affected. 

About 10 years ago, the CDC began an all-out national effort to eliminate syphilis as an ongoing health problem and nearly succeeded, but the last two years have shown an increase in infections, rather than the expected decrease.

CDC surveillance indicates that reported cases of chlamydia and gonorrhea together surpassed 1.4 million in 2007.

As with so many types of infections, someone can look perfectly healthy but be living with one of these diseases.  If you’re sexually active, get tested a couple of times a year.  Don’t be shy about asking your healthcare provider to test you.  It’s better to identify and possibly treat an infection than let it go until it causes potentially serious and long-term health problems.

Take control of your life.  It’s the only one you’re going to get!

The report, “Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance 2007,” can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/std/stats07/toc.htm for those interested in delving deeper into this subject.