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STDs and Teens

Author(s): Nancy Moreno, PhD

STDs: Social Factors

STDs do not affect all groups equally. Women are more likely than men to become infected, and to suffer serious long-term complications from STDs, such as cervical cancer or pelvic inflammatory disease. Women also are more likely than men to be be coerced into sexual activity that places them at risk. Use of drugs and alcohol, which impair judgment, also can lead to acts that place participants at risk of infection.

Even though US culture is bombarded with sexual messages, STDs still are stigmatized in the US. This stigmatization leads to a reluctance to discuss STDs, to seek assistance in preventing infection, or to seek treatment and counseling.