Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Real Alternatives is a not-for-profit health organization that provides women with a variety of services and support during unexpected and crises pregnancies. Real Alternatives also offers a wealth of information regarding related health topics, including sexually transmitted diseases.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 110 million Americans are living with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), at a cost of more than $16 billion annually. Studies have found that of the 20 million newly-reported cases of STDs every year, over 14 million are linked to human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.
Nearly 80 million individuals of all ages in the United States live with HPV. The infection is incurable, though some symptoms can be managed with medical treatments. In many instances, HPV is passed between partners, and it can remain dormant for years without active symptoms. Some strains of HPV can cause genital warts or even cancer.
There are a number of ways to mitigate one's chances of contracting HPV. Individuals are advised to get the HPV vaccine, which helps protect against the most common strain but not all of the strains. Practicing safe sex can lower the chance of contracting HPV or other STDs. However, living a chaste lifestyle (abstinence) until committing to a long-term monogamous relationship is the best and the most effective means of risk reduction.
Thursday, November 16, 2017
Real Alternatives provides support and information to women from all walks of life who have been impacted by an unplanned pregnancy. The Real Alternatives website, www.realalternatives.org, features a number of stories from clients who have benefited from the support of the organization.
The stories come from a host of women of different ages and backgrounds, a testament to the organization’s desire to provide help to any individual who seeks it. Certain accounts highlight the organization’s all-inclusive attitude in regard to age, as opposed to similar agencies that focus solely on helping younger women dealing with unexpected pregnancies.
Other women have pointed to a lack of support upon learning about their pregnancy, including disapproval from family and friends and pressure to abort, or complete indifference from their partner. The informed support and welcoming approach of the Real Alternatives team, along with a number of approved service providers, helped these women to identify different ways to address their situation.
Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Real Alternatives provides easy-to-understand education surrounding pregnancy, parenting, and sexual health. Targeting its services to pregnant women and women of childbearing age, Real Alternatives strives to help its audiences make informed decisions.
According to recent data available through the Sexually Transmitted Diseases Surveillance Report, collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the incidence of gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis has reached a record high in the United States. Chlamydia stands out as the most prevalent of these three diseases, the total number of cases having reached 1.6 million, as compared to 470,000 cases of gonorrhea and close to 28,000 cases of infectious syphilis.
Close to 50 percent of reported chlamydia cases occur in young women, a percentage significantly higher than the incidence rate in other populations. New diagnoses of syphilis are present primarily in men, the percentage being highest in men who engage in sex with other men (MSM). There were also 600 new cases of syphilis reported in infants in 2016, a rate that indicates the widespread failure of readily available screening procedures.
The most dramatic increase in gonorrhea infection also rests with the male population, and particularly with those in the MSM category. Scientists believe that the 22 percent increase in men with gonorrhea is attributable largely to the resistance of the infection to common antibiotics.