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Why Teens Aren’t Understanding STD Basics 

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.

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Tips for Talking to Kids About STDs

One of the hardest things about raising kids is making sure that they get all of the information that they need to make healthy decisions when you’re not around. 84% of American moms report that they want help talking to their children about sexual issues.

For many parents, having a conversation about STDs is very difficult, but making sure that your children are equipped with the facts to make informed decisions is essential.

Fortunately, there are ways to make this difficult conversation go smoothly. Let’s take a look at a few tips that can help.

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Eyeball Licking: Growing Sexual Trend?

A new sexual trend in Japan has left some people scratching their heads. “Eyeball licking” has made headlines after a teacher reported an incident he saw in the gymnasium of his school. We know it may sound bizarre, but the growing trend has also been leading to some serious consequences.

Eyeball Licking

Reports state that students are in licking each others eyeballs for sexual arousal. Also known as oculolinctus or “worming,” more and more middle schoolers in Japan are exploring this new trend. According to the teacher who first reported the incident, one third of the students in his classroom said they had participated in the act, either by licking someone’s eyes or having their eyes licked themselves. A Japanese band called Born made a music video in which a woman licks the lead singer’s eye. Some think the trend may stem from kids viewing the video, but others believe it’s just something new and different to people who are willing to try anything.

Eyes

Consequences

Eyeball licking can lead to chlamydia, herpes, TB and other diseases. Pink eye and styes are also common side effects. One of the most serious consequences is blindness. The teacher in Japan stated that up to ten kids in the same classroom were wearing eye patches at the same time. An article by the The Huffington Post quotes an ophthalmologist who says ridges on the tongue can cause corneal abrasions or transmit acids or spices from food into the eye. Bacteria found in the mouth should not enter the eye, as it could cause infection.

Who else is participating?

While this story is now being widely reported as a phenomenon in Japan, that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening elsewhere. The HuffPost article interviewed a woman from the U.S. Virgin Island who admitted to enjoying having her eyeballs licked. She said it was an intimate act but suffered the consequences, ending up with corneal ulcers and spending time in the hospital.

Sexually transmitted diseases are no laughing matter. Understand the risks of being sexually active and how you can stay healthy. Let ARCpoint Labs help you prevent the spread of STDs with affordable and confidential testing.

 

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Some STD-related good news

Whaaa? Is there such a thing as good news when it comes to STDs? Well, maybe not “good” news, but we’ll take progress:

About 60 percent of sexually active high school students say they used condoms the last time they had sex, researchers said at the International AIDS Conference. That’s an increase from the 46 percent who were using condoms in 1991.

The proportion of high school students who’ve had sex is 47 percent today – down a bit from 54 percent in 1991 – and they typically start at age 16, CDC said. Black teens showed a bigger decrease, with 60 percent sexually active today compared with 82 percent two decades ago.

Fifteen percent of high school students say they’ve had four or more partners, down from 19 percent in 1991.

Read the full article “Research shows more teens using condoms” from ABC News.

black-students-std-statistics

Statistics show that 60 percent of black teens are sexually active today compared with 82 percent two decades ago.

Progress for preventing STDs

The article indicates that there is still much work to do for STD education and use of proper STD prevention. However, reading that more teens are using condoms today than they were a few years ago, and that teens are having fewer partners, shows progress. Especially within the black community, with almost 20% fewer teens are having sex.

Teens understanding how STDs work, realizing that condoms are one of the only methods of STD prevention and committing to STD testing will allow us to see continued progress. It might not solve the problems completely, but it will certainly keep us moving in the right direction.

 

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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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