Being sexually active in today’s society can be dangerous to one’s health. There are over 25 sexually transmitted diseases and thousands of people are infected everyday with one or more of these diseases. For viral STDs there are treatments but no cures. The safest sex is no sex until you are in a mutually monogamous, committed relationship such as marriage. If you have never had sexual relations you cannot contract an STD from a partner who has also never had sexual relations. If you have had unprotected sex you should be screened on a regular basis for sexually transmitted infections.
Caused by the herpes simplex virus, most people have few symptoms. Others have blisters on or around the genitals or rectum. At least 45 million people in the U.S. are infected and there is no cure. This disease is spread by skin-to-skin contact and condoms do not offer good protection. There is treatment but no cure.
HIV – human immunodeficiency virus – causes AIDS. One of the most common means of transmission is through having sex (anal, vaginal, oral) with an HIV infected partner. Condoms were found to reduce the risk by 85% during vaginal sex if used correctly and consistently.
HPV – Human Papillomavirus (Genital Warts)
50% of sexually active men and women are carrying this disease.
This disease can be passed from skin to skin contact and can lead to cancer of the cervix, vulva, vagina, anus or penis. People may or may not show any symptoms. Condoms are not shown to reduce the incidence of HPV but may reduce the cancer risk. While there is no cure for a virus the cancers can be treated.
Oral Sex – it’s still Sex!
Many young people have been lead to believe that oral sex isn’t really sex or it is safer sex. True, you cannot get pregnant through oral sex. However, the STDs mentioned about can be transmitted through oral sex. These diseases may have
life-long consequences for you.
For fact sheets on sexually transmitted diseases visit the Centers for Disease Control Web site: http://www.cdc.gov/std/HealthComm/fact_sheets.htm
This information is intended for general educational purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional medical advice.