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Top College STDs

Moving away to college is an exciting experience for many people with new freedoms and meeting different people. Going to clubs and parties can be a new and fun experience when acting responsibly. However, alcohol and other factors can hinder judgment. Sexually transmitted diseases are unfortunately a common problem among college campuses. Understand what the most common STDs are for college students and how to prevent them. Condoms

Most Common College STDs

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

HPV is spread through skin-to-skin contact and can lead to genital warts and cervical cancer. Many people are unaware they are infected since symptoms often go unnoticed. Although it is not curable, preventative measures can be taken. Girls are recommended to get a vaccine at age 11 or 12, but please note that it does not protect against all strains of HPV.

Chlamydia

This bacterial STD is transmitted through vaginal, oral and anal sex. Chlamydia is treatable and curable with antibiotics, but immediate attention is required to prevent damage to both men and women’s reproductive organs.

Gonorrhea

Like Chlamydia, there are often no visible symptoms of gonorrhea, so it is important to get tested regularly. Fortunately it is treatable and curable with antibiotics, but the disease must be caught early to prevent pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).

Genital Herpes

Genital Herpes, or HSV-2, is spread in the same ways as chlamydia, but it is not curable. This disease can cause blisters, redness and sores.

Prevention

Condom Use

Condoms are 97% effective at preventing STDs, but they must be used properly. If you are sexually active, use them consistently and correctly to reduce your risk of transmitting or receiving an infection or disease. Remember, birth control pills do not protect against sexually transmitted diseases.

Abstinence

The only way to be 100% sure you will not get an STD is to be abstinent. Sexually transmitted infections and diseases may be passed through oral sex, anal sex or intercourse. If this is not a probable option, take preventative measures and understand the risks with being sexually active.

If you are sexually active and/or have multiple partners, be sure to get tested regularly for STDs. The sooner you are aware of a problem, the more quickly you’ll be able to treat it. ARCpoint labs offers STD testing for both men and women. You don’t even need insurance or an appointment, so contact us today to take control of your sexual health.

 

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Do Womens’ Bodies Protect Them From STDs?

Meet Interferon epsilon (or IFNe).

Women-produce-a-protein-that-protects-them-from-STDsIFNe is a naturally occurring protein in women that protects them from Chlamydia and Herpes Simplex and may protect them from HIV and HPV. This protein was discovered by Dr. Paul Hertzog, Director of the Monash Institute of Medical Research Centre for Innate Immunity and Infectious Diseases and his team.

When is IFNe produced?

IFNe is produced during a woman’s hormone cycle and Professor Hertzog says that the protein is produced differently than others:

“Most proteins protecting us against infection are produced only after we’re exposed to a virus or bacteria,” Professor Hertzog says. “But this protein is produced normally and is instead regulated by hormones so its levels change during the oestrous cycle (an animal’s menstrual cycle) and is switched off at implantation in pregnancy and at other times like menopause.” (source)

What’s next for IFNe?

Dr. Hertzog’s plan is to future his teams’ research in hopes to use IFNe as a possible cure for STDs. He also wants to see if his research on IFNe can be applied to finding ways to prevent other diseases.

What does this mean if you’re sexually active?

Dr. Hertzog and his team continue to conduct research on IFNe, so don’t get too excited with this knowledge. Sexually transmitted diseases affect 450 million people worldwide and cost the United States nearly $17 billion dollars in treatment each year (source). For women who know their body produces this hormone, this isn’t an invitation to practice unsafe sex.

Keep using safe sex practices and continue to get tested periodically if you’ve had multiple sexual partners. The day may come when IFNe becomes a way to prevent STDs for everyone, but that day is a long way off.

We hope Dr. Hertzog and his team are onto something great that curtails the rapid spread of STDs.

 

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STDs in the US… 110 Million People Have Them

You read that title correctly, folks. Over one hundred, ten million people in the United States are living with sexually transmitted diseases (source).

STDs = Scary Stuff

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted and published the results of the study:  Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Results yielded interesting findings about the diseases and the annual cost of treatment.

  • 20 million new diagnoses of STDs each year. Half occur in young people, 15 to 24 years in age.
  • Treating 20 million new patients costs $16 billion annually.

“Because some STIs — especially HIV — require lifelong treatment and care, they are by far the costliest. In addition, HPV is particularly costly due to the expense of treating HPV-related cancers. However, the annual cost of curable STIs is also significant ($742 million). Among these, chlamydia is most common and therefore the most costly,” the report said.

Clearly there needs to be a nationwide focus on prevention, especially with young people. Perhaps the most startling number out of all of the research – is that STDs are a problem in those age 15! It is up to the parents to educate children on the dangers of STDs. The dangers are too real and too great.

Some Recommendations

The Center for Disease Control gives some tips to recommendations for preventing and treating STDs.

110-Million-People-In-The-US-have-STDs

  • Everyone needs an HIV test.
  • All sexually active women aged 25 and under, along with older women who have risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners, should be screened annually for chlamydia.
  • Pregnant women should be screened for syphilis, HIV, chlamydia and hepatitis B, while at-risk pregnant women should be screened for gonorrhea during their first prenatal visit.
  • All sexually active gay and bisexual men should be screened at least once a year for syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea and HIV.
  • The CDC promotes Gardasil for girls teenage girls through the age of 26 and teenage guys through the age of 21. It’s the only vaccine that protects against all four types of HPV (source).

Do your part to prevent STDs

Yes – you. We didn’t get to 110 million without denial. If you are sexually active, make sure to get tested regularly. Are you a parent? Teach your teen about the dangers of sexual activity – especially unprotected sex.

You can help us stop this problem.

Not sure where to go for an STD test? Want to avoid paying a co-pay or scheduling a doctor’s visit? Call our friends at ARCpoint Labs. Their walk-in clinic offers confidential testing. Find the ARCpoint Labs location nearest you.

 

 

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Statistics on STDs & Teens

So it’s pretty common knowledge that STDs are a major problem in the teenage community. But how big of a problem you ask? Well, pretty big. For any parents or educators out there, we wanted to enlighten you on just how big the issues of sexually transmitted diseases have become. It’s not enough to teach pregnancy prevention anymore… because several methods of contraception unfortunately don’t protect against STDs. And the sad thing is that in the long run… if not addressed… STDs can actually prevent pregnancy indefinitely.

Read on for more information about teens and STDs. It’s not a “small” problem anymore. And as uncomfortable as it may be, you must find ways to educate and talk to your teen about this issue.

Teens & STDs – Statistics

ONE out of every FOUR sexually active teens will contract a sexually transmitted infection.

teen-std-statistics-std-resources

1 in 4 teens has an STD.

ONE in TWO sexually active teens will contract a sexually transmitted disease before age 25.

Rates of the HPV virus among teens are as high as 40% (it’s less than 15% in adults). Up to 15% of sexually active teenage girls have the HPV strain that can lead to cervical cancer.

ONE in FIVE people in the U.S. have genital herpes.

Each year, approximately 19 million new STD infections occur, and almost half of them are among youth ages 15-24.

Out of high school students surveyed, 39% DID NOT use a condom the last time they had sex. (according to CDC survey).

An estimated 8,300 young people aged 13–24 years in the 40 states reporting to CDC had HIV infection in 2009.

Chlamydia & gonorrhea are actually more common among teens than older adults. Up to 40% of all girls between the ages of 15 and 19 are infected with chlamydia.

 

Sources:

DoSomething.org (visit their site for more alarming teen std statistics)

Students Against Drunk Driving (saad.org)

Center for Disease Control (Sexual Risk Behavior)

SexEdLibrary.org

Avert.org

Better Homes & Gardens (STDs & Teens:  A Reality Check)

Why Worry about Teens & STDs

STDs are a big deal … even as big as your teen getting pregnant. Why? Because STDs can impact future health. Many carry no symptoms, but big health effects. Left untreated, several STDs can cause sterility, stillbirth or miscarriages when it’s time to start a family. HPV can lead to cervical cancer, among others. Many STDs have no cure.

The first step in handling STDs in teens is to have an STD testing resource. Test your teen for STDs to see if they are carrying around any diseases. Based on test results you can either see a physician for treatment, or if there is no cure, give them help on how to handle symptoms and not spread the disease.

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Know your STDs and How to Prevent Them: HPV

It seems like there are several commercials running for the prevention of human papillomavirus (HPV) and that’s probably because it’s the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI). According to the CDC, about 20 million Americans have HPV right now, and another 6 million will be effected this year. While there are several types of this viruses that float around, the important thing to know is that just like many other STDS, if you have HPV, you may never know. However this lack of awareness can prove to be very detrimental, and especially in the cases involving HPV.

Do You Have HPV?

If you have HPV, you probably don’t even realize it. The CDC says that in 90% of cases, the body’s immune system clears it up naturally. But get this – it clears it up within TWO YEARS. Yep, for two years you could be fighting off a sexually transmitted infection.

But here’s the thing about HPV:  if the body doesn’t clear it up naturally, life-threatening consequences can come later. Like what? Well…. let’s just say here are what some have experienced:

  • Genital and oral warts
  • Cervical cancer
  • Other cancers near the lower genital region in both men & women

Seriously, an STD can give me CANCER?!?

Yep, an STD can give you cancer. Now there are several strains of HPV, and not all of them are the cancer-causing agents. Some of them just cause the warts. However, you can’t really know which type of strain you have and that’s why it’s extremely important for you to get checked:

  • STD testing – if you’re sexually active (especially with multiple partners), you need tested for STDs each year.
  • Routine cervical exams (for women) – this will test you for cervical cancer. Almost all cases of cervical cancer are caused by the HPV virus.
  • Routine physicals (for men) – the doctor will examine if you have any signs of STD complications from warts to cancer

The HPV virus mutates cells. Just like any other cancer, you cannot physically feel this taking place, and it’s a slow process. However, when HPV goes undetected and isn’t fought off naturally, that’s when this devastation can occur. It might be years later, but if you’ve picked up the HPV virus and your body didn’t fight it off naturally, you will be at risk for cancers.

How do I Prevent & Treat HPV?

HPV is actually a very unique STD in that it has a vaccine for prevention. While abstaining from sexual relations will be the best way prevent it, some of these tools will also help:

  • Vaccines – there’s a vaccine for women & girls (ideally given around ages 11-12) that can prevent cervical cancer, other reproductive-area cancers and warts. There’s also a vaccine for men & boys that can prevent the warts and anal cancers caused from HPV.
  • Condoms – The use of condoms is said to help stop the spread of HPV – as long as they are used during the entire sexual encounter.
  • Medicines – If you’re suffering from the genital warts, there are some medications a doctor can prescribe to help clear them up.

Learn More about HPV

This is just scratching the surface when it comes to HPV and your risks. Learn more at some of these trusted sites:

Center for Disease Control: Genital HPV Infection

PubMed Health: Genital Warts

National Cancer Institute: HPV and Cancer

 

 

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