An initiative to provide emergency contraceptives to teenagers in the United Kingdom has backfired somewhat because an increase in sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) has been reported.
Teens in the UK clearly don’t understand STD basics or else they would be concerned about unwanted pregnancies and diseases such as HPV, gonorrhea, syphilis, and herpes.
Teenagers & STDs: Why Education is Still Needed
Emergency Contraception and the Link to STDs
Engaging in risky behavior such as unprotected sex has caused a 5% increase in the number of teenagers seeking emergency contraception to test positive for STDs. 12% of those teens were under the age of 15. It’s alarming to think that although this program is available for those who need it, STD basics are not being taught and protection is not being emphasized.
STD Basics Not Realized by American Teenagers
Teens in the United States don’t respond well to safe sex messages. They’ve come up with their own criteria for remaining STD-free. One of the biggest misconceptions they make is that as long as they don’t have an STD, their partner will remain faithful to them. They also assess other things about a sexual partner including how the boy or girl looks, their body language, and eye contact.
The Idea of Abstinence Not Realistic Says Many Teens
Of the young people surveyed in the USA, many believe that abstinence isn’t a possibility. Still, they don’t have an understanding of STD basics. That why many of them wind up with an undetected or untreated disease that they share with other partners. STD basics such as using protection every time a teen engages in sexual intercourse are ignored in favor of their own idea of STD prevention.
The University of Pittsburgh reports that over 9.1 million new cases of STDs are diagnosed each year. This includes the age group of 15-24-year-olds. STD basics clearly need more emphasis because teenagers around the world have no clue the devastating impact an STD has on their physical health and mental well-being.
ARCpoint Labs nationwide provide STD testing to individuals, including testing for commonly contracted STDs, such as herpes and chlamydia. Contact your nearest location to learn more about our services.