Sexually Transmitted Infections/Diseases
Most teens are concerned about getting pregnant, NOT getting infected. So, why does this matter? Pregnancy is tough, but survivable. Some STD’S can cause serious health complications such as cancer and, in worst case scenarios, even death. Some STIs are curable and some, like the ones caused by viruses, are not. It is important to be tested if you have been sexually active.
4,000,000 teens will contract a sexually transmitted infection (STI) this year.
1 in 4 sexually active teens active will contract an STI
(1 teen every 8 seconds)
Even though there are more than 30 different sexually transmissible bacteria, viruses and parasites, the average clinic tests for 3-5 STD’s. They will check for symptoms for the rest of them, but 80% of people that are infected have NO symptoms. This is why it’s simply best to avoid the risk.
(World Health Organization)
Gwen: My boyfriend and I have only had oral sex. I don’t have anything to worry about, do I?
P2 Crew: Great question, Gwen. We hear this question a lot. Many teens report to be having oral sex. To be clear, oral sex is contact of one person’s mouth or tongue with the genitals of another person. To answer your question, oral sex is still sex and all forms of sexual activity put you at risk. The biggest physical risk with oral sex is sexually transmitted infections. Oral sex carries risk of serious, untreatable, and even life-threatening diseases in both men and women. It has been found to spread syphilis, gonorrhea, HPV, herpes, HIV, and possibly Hepatitis C. (CDC)
Remember that any disease that can be passed through vaginal sex can be spread through oral sex.
Caleb: “I have had all kinds of sex. Am I infected?”
P2 Crew: Since the majority of infected people have no symptoms, the only way to truly know is to get tested.
You’re probably thinking, “I’m not infected. There’s no way. I don’t feel sick and I don’t have any bumps.”
Really? How would you know that you’re clean if you haven’t been tested? The truth is you have NO CLUE if you are or aren’t, you’re just thinking, “well, it won’t happen to me”. Are you amazed by our psychic abilities? We hear this from teens all the time.
Here’s some advice…GET TESTED NOW
If you discover a sexually transmitted infection early and it’s treatable, you may be able to take meds and prevent it from turning into a disease that’s permanent. Don’t put it off! Your health is important! Getting tested now might prevent a lifetime of embarrassment, discomfort, and (in the worst case) even death.
Who Should Be Tested?
- Sexually active people (vaginal, oral or anal sex) at least once a year under 25 years old
- Anyone who has had a new sex partner within the last 6 months
- Partners of infected people
- Intravenous (IV) drug users
- You may have to ask your doctor for STI testing
- Different STI’s require different tests. Your doctor can advise you on which ones you need.
- Different types of sexual activity require different tests.
Check with your doctor or local clinic/health department.
Don’t want to deal with pregnancy or an STI/ STD? You may want to Avoid the Risk.