Sexually Transmitted Infections

In the United States, more than 110 million people are living with a sexually transmitted disease/infection (STD/STI).(1)

And young adults are most at risk.

For example, did you know?

  • One-half of the 20 million new STI’s diagnosed in this country each year occur among youth ages 15 to 24.(1)
  • One-half of all new HIV infections occur among youth ages 15 to 24.(2)
  • One-half of all sexually active adolescents and young adults will contract an STI by age 25.(3)
  • Many cases go undetected because vague symptoms are not recognized.

Why are youth at the highest risk for contracting an STI?

  • Young people are not always truthful about their sex lives. For example, 10% found to have at least one STI reported not having sex in the past year and 6% report never having had sex.(4)
  • Many young people have a false sense of security about a mutually monogamous relationship and STI risk. Adolescents have as much sex with their main sex contacts as they do with their casual partners. But whether main or casual, they report some 20 sexual acts per three months.(5)
  • More than one-third of college males report major errors in condom use over a three month period, despite having received instruction on correct use.(6)

Read more information about specific STI’s here:

“STD” is often used to indicate both sexually transmitted infection and actual disease. However, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI), while they are dangerous pathogens, can be present in the human body without always causing disease. Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) result from damage caused by a Sexually Transmitted Infection that has progressed. Many STDs can be prevented through early screening and treatment of STIs. Since many infections are highly contagious, but usually have no symptoms, you should be screened regularly if you are sexually active.

STI screening should be based on risk behaviors such as age of sexual debut, multiple partners, oral sex, anal intercourse, drug and alcohol use, not always on symptoms. Talk to a health care provider to learn more.

Click for a List of STIs from the Medical Institute for Sexual Health (www.medinstitute.org).

There is a way to ELIMINATE your risk.

Just because they’re common, doesn’t mean they’re no big deal.

 

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fact Sheet, Incidence,, Prevalence, and Cost of Sexually Transmitted Infections in the United States, 2013. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, accessed 10/13.
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Oral Abstract D4a – Prevalence of Sexually Transmitted Infections and Bacterial Vaginosis Among Female Adolescents in the United States: Data from the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES) 2003-2004. 2008 National STD Prevention Conference, accessed 11/12.
3. WebMD – Your Guide to Sexually Transmitted Diseases, accessed 11/12.
4. WebMD Health News. Hendrick, B. (2011) Youths With STDs May Not Admit They Had Sex. Study: Young People Not Always Truthful About Sexual Activity, So Routine STD Screenings Are Needed.
5. WebMD Health News. DeNoon, DJ. (2006). Teen Sex Unsafe Even With Main Lovers. Unsafe Sex Prevalent Among Teens With Main and Casual Partners.
6. Crosby, RA, Sanders, SA, Yarber, WL, et al. Condom use errors and problems among college men. Sex Transm Dis 2002; 29 (9): 552-557.