File this under news we really didn’t want to get on Valentine’s Day: STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) and STIs (sexually transmitted infections) are skyrocketing.
A new study says that there are almost 20 million cases of STDs and STIs diagnosed every year–which means there are probably even more out there, because a lot of people don’t show symptoms, so they don’t bother getting tested or diagnosed–and that means those cases aren’t reported. A total of about 110 million people in the U.S. are infected with STDs and STIs. Yikes!
And here’s what’s scarier. Those in the 15-24 age bracket comprise about half of the total STD cases in the country. Even scarier when you realize they only represent a quarter of the sexually active people here–and that young women are at the highest risk for sexually transmitted infections and diseases.
The two biggest STDs and STIs in the epidemic? Chlamydia, which can lead to infertility, and HPV, which is linked to cancer. The problem with both of these STDs is that people who have them often don’t know that they have them because they don’t show any symptoms, so they spread it without knowing it. This is why it’s super important to get tested regularly and to always, always, always use a condom–and is also a good reason for you to get the HPV vaccine. (I promise it’s worth it. I’m seriously deathly afraid of needles, and I swear it’s not bad.)
STDs are scary, but they are totally preventable. Wear condoms, get tested regularly and be safe – don’t be a statistic!
What precautions do you take to avoid sexually transmitted diseases and sexually transmitted infections? How often do you get tested for STDs and STIs? Have you ever had drama with STDs or STIs? Have you ever been with a guy who had an STD or STI? How’d you deal? Tell us in the comments!