Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Sexually Transmitted Diseases Are on the Rise
Real Alternatives serves women in Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Michigan through a network of crisis pregnancy centers that provide free counseling, adoption information and referrals, and ongoing material support for the first year of a baby’s life. In addition, the nonprofit offers resources on sexual health, including how to identify and prevent sexually transmitted diseases.
The number of people affected by sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs, has risen in recent years. The National Institutes of Health has differentiated some two dozen STDs to date and estimates that they infect close to 20 million people annually.
Individuals of any age or social background can contract STDs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, young adults between 15 and 24 years of age, as well as pregnant women, are among the groups most at risk for common STDs such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis. Many women do not know they have contracted an STD, because they may remain symptom-free, yet the complications women experience are typically more severe than those experienced by men.
A major reason for the increase in the number of STD cases is that sexually active individuals today often have a greater number of partners over their lifetime. The CDC points out that the most effective means of avoiding STDs are abstention from sharing needles and abstention from sex outside of a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship.