Seventeen year old Abigail dreaded the moment she heard her phone ring. “This is it” she thought. With her heart in her throat she answered; it was the doctor’s office on the other end. All she heard from the nurse was “positive.” Everything else was a blur. Just one night, too many drinks, and scarred for life. Tuning back into the conversation, Abigail caught the tail end, “we need to get you into the office so we can discuss treatment.” Abigail’s future was now infected with the STD, Genital Herpes. One decision, changed Abigail’s life forever.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, April is Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) Awareness month. In an effort to reach out to young people, this observance is to raise awareness of the impact of STDs and encourage STD testing. Young people between the ages of 15 and 24 account for about half of all STD cases. That's an alarming statistic and that's why it's important that we educate today's young people about STDs. It doesn't matter if they're straight, gay, single, or married, they can still get an STD. Plus, many STDs can be spread through oral, anal, or vaginal sex. While condoms definitely help with protection, they aren't foolproof.
There are more than 20 types of STDs. Some of the most common are Chlamydia, Herpes, Gonorrhea ("Clap"). About 3 million new cases of Chlamydia are reported each year, with adolescent women being the most commonly affected. Other types of STDs include:
While there are a lot of great sites devoted to helping increase the awareness of STDs, MTV has done a phenomenal job on their IYSL (It's Your (Sex) Life) site. Plus, kudos to MTV for launching the campaign "Get Yourself Tested" aka "GYT" to encourage STD testing. The campaign is aimed at reducing the spread of STDs among young people. Check out the MTV GYT site for more information:
Back to Abigail:
Abigail visited her doctor and discussed the treatment options of genital herpes. Although she was discouraged to find out that there's no cure for genital herpes, she was relieved that there was treatment with prescription antiviral medications.
In conclusion, if you suspect that you have an STD, please see your doctor. If you don't know whether you do or don't, but are sexually active then GYT (Get Yourself Tested). Again, many STDs are treatable or curable, but early detection is crucial. Don't be a statistic, play it safe and protect yourself from STDs.
STD Resource Websites: