Sexuallly Transmited Diseases:
Sexually Transmitted Diseases, or STDS, are infections that are caught by contact with someone who is already infected with the disease. The types of contact are varied and can be vaginal, oral or anal sex; kissing; or other types of touching.
STDs don’t only affect people who engage in casual sex, or who have multiple partners. Having multiple sexual partners greatly increases your chances of getting an STD, but you also need to factor in the number of partners your partner has had. Many people who have STDs can have them without symptoms and pass the disease on to a partner. More than 65 million Americans have STDs, which is about 20% of the population. That means that if you have 5 partners in your lifetime, it is very likely that one of them has an STD.
You can only tell if your partner has an STD if he or she is tested by a clinic. If he or she is positive, the only reliable way to avoid that STD is to avoid having any sexual contact with that person. If you use a condom during sexual contact, it could help reduce your chances of getting the disease, but it does not guarantee you will be protected from contracting their disease.
If you think you have an STD, contact a pregnancy resource center. Many of them have a medical professional on staff and are set up to do STD testing. If the center nearest you does not have a medical professional on staff, they can refer you to a health clinic to get tested. The screening consists of a blood test, a urine test, or a physical exam. These centers and health care clinics maintain your confidentiality and peform these tests routinely, so you don’t have to worry about being embarrassed. Pregnancy resource centers have compassionate counselors that can help you find the best treatments and prevention for the future.
Its easy in this society to feel pressured to have sex. But, you don’t have to! Many teens and older adults are deciding NOT to have sex until a more appropriate time. However, you may find yourself in a relationship where you are pressured to have sex before you are ready. Remember that you can say No!