Have you heard the news? The Sexually Transmitted Disease Epidemic is on the Rise.
Just try Googling, “STDs on the Rise,” and you will find article after article about STDs exploding across the nation.
"Alarming Rise in Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Syphilis across the Country California."
"Nevada, and Texas are Reporting Rising Rates of STDs."
"STDs Hit an All Time High in Minnesota STDs Including HIV on the Rise in Rhode Island."
"Chlamydia and Syphilis Nearly Doubled in Miami-Dade."
"Gonorrhea Almost Doubled in Montana."
"Humboldt County in California has seen a Tenfold Increase in Gonorrhea."
"Las Vegas Experiencing Remarkable Rise in STDs."
"HIV on the Rise in Austin, Texas."
Officials are weighing in on why the already high STD epidemic is on the rise.
"Young people are driving the epidemic as well as men at the army base who are looking for love in all the wrong places." El Paso Department of Health.
"Using social media to arrange casual and often anonymous sexual encounters, having sex without a condom, having multiple sex partners and having sex while under the influence of drugs or alcohol leads to more STDs." Rhode Island Health Dept.
"While we may not know the causes of these increases that occur year after year, we do know this: more testing and treatment is needed along with a re-commitment to the best protection against all STDs, including HIV – for those having sex: use condoms." National Coalition of STD Directors.
According to the CDC – To prevent HIV/AIDS and other STDs: Limit the number of sexual partners Use condoms correctly and consistently Never share needles Get tested and treated for STDs.
So, what’s a parent to do? It sounds like the solution to protecting your children from this seriously rising STD EPIDEMIC is to scream from the roof tops: 1. USE CONDOMS. 2. LIMIT YOUR PARTNERS. 3. DON’T DO SEX AND DRUGS AT THE SAME TIME.
So, my first question is: “Exactly what does Limit Your Partners mean?” Is 3 partners in a lifetime okay? What about 3 partners in a month or 3 partners at one time? Obviously, 3 sounds much better than 6 and for sure better than10 or 15. If this weren’t so serious, it could easily be turned into a comedy routine.
All kidding aside. The rise in STDs is serious enough that the CDC has recently revised their STD Guidelines. For several years, the CDC has stated – “Abstinence is a reliable way to avoid STDs.” However, on June 5, 2015, the CDC changed the wording to: Abstinence: The most reliable way to avoid STDs is to not have sex. (i.e., anal, vaginal or oral). (1) On the same day, the CDC also stated: Mutual monogamy means you agree to be sexually active with only one person who has agreed to be sexually active only with you. Being in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner is one of the most reliable ways to avoid STDs…(2) (Call me crazy, but this sounds a lot like saving sex for marriage.) And the CDC also posted on July 21, 2015: Abstinence from vaginal, anal and oral intercourse is the only 100% effective way to prevent HIV, other STDs and Pregnancy. The correct and consistent use of male latex condoms can reduce the risk of STD transmission, including HIV infection. However, no protective method is 100% effective and condom use cannot guarantee absolute protection against any STD or pregnancy.(3) And who says ABSTINENCE doesn’t work? According to the CDC, it’s 100% effective.
So here’s my question to you as parents: Are you okay with your children using condoms and living on the edge with the ever rising STD epidemic that’s plaguing our nation? Before you rush to a decision, here’s another thought. The CDC estimates there are about 20 million new cases of STDs in the U.S. each year. Although young people (15 to 24) only make up about 25% of the sexually experienced population, they account for half (50%) of the 20 million new cases of STDs each year.(4) With that in mind, the CDC also states: Half of all sexually active young people in the U.S. will acquire an STD by age 25—and most will have no symptoms. (5) 41% of sexually active teens said they did NOT use condoms during their last sexual encounter.(6) What are they thinking? Don’t they know condoms must be used correctly with EVERY SINGLE sexual act? Of course they know it; everyone knows it. But, hey! They’re just teenagers. They still forget their lunch money and homework. Why should we expect them to grasp the importance of using condoms every time they engage in sexual activity? But really . . . if your children decide to have sex before marriage, surely they won’t get cervical, penial or oral cancer from HPV or face infertility problems from Chlamydia and Gonorrhea or go blind from Syphilis or deal with recurring painful blisters because of genital Herpes. After all, that only happens to other people’s kids. And don’t worry about the fact that HIV is on the rise or Gonorrhea is becoming resistant to antibiotics or Chlamydia is the leading cause of preve