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STDs and Teens

Author(s): Nancy Moreno, PhD

Personal Protection for Teens

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide the following facts regarding sexually transmitted diseases.
* Sexually transmitted diseases affect about 19 million Americans each year, many of whom are teenagers or young adults.
* Drugs and alcohol increase your chances of getting STDs because these substances can interfere with your judgment and your ability to use a condom properly.
* Intravenous drug use puts a person at higher risk for HIV and hepatitis B because IV drug users usually share needles.
* The more partners you have, the higher your chance of being exposed to HIV or other STDs. This is because it is difficult to know whether a person is infected, or has had sex with other people who are infected due to intravenous drug use or other high-risk behaviors.
* Sometimes, early in an infection, there may be no symptoms of the STD, or the symptoms may be confused with other illnesses.
* You cannot tell by looking at someone whether he or she is infected with HIV or another STD.

The CDC provides a variety of electronic health cards that can be sent to friends and family. They contain reminders and helpful information on a variety of health topics.  Send a Health-e-Card by visiting the following site, maintained by the CDC