The Perplexing Rise of STD’s in the U.S.

June 14, 2015

STDS are on the rise in the US—What’s up with that?

Here are some of the latest headlines citing studies and stats by the CDC and other public health agencies.

‘Gonorrhea and Chlamydia Rates for Boone County, Missouri and the US’
‘Alaska Has Nation’s Highest Chlamydia Rate’
‘South Dakota Chlamydia Rates at Highest Level Ever’
‘Texas High School with Chlamydia Outbreak Has Abstinence-only Sex Ed’

Chlamydia is on the rise again. The headlines above are from May, 2015 According to the CDC, people in the 15024 age range are most likely to be infected. http://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/newsroom/docs/std-trends-508.pdf  But don’t be fooled by those statistics. Chlamydia, like all STDs, can happen to anyone having sexual contact. Sixty or sixteen, you can get an STD if you’re having unprotected sex.

The Texas story has been controversial, as the numbers originally reported may have been exaggerated. But the real story is that without the proper education and no access to condoms, people are going to get sexually transmitted diseases.
Chlamydia is easily treated with one dose of antibiotics. And, like most of the other STDs, sexually transmitted diseases/infections, wearing condoms is the best way to protect yourself, and a partner, from contracting the STD.  Obviously abstinence, which means a total lack of genital contact, is the only guaranteed way to prevent disease.

Some of the issues in these articles have to do with this country’s attitude about sex education and the downside of abstinence-only teachings. Some are related to the ‘hookup’ culture linked to the use of dating apps, like Tinder. In every case someone got too excited about the ‘doing it’ part and less enthused about the ‘doing it responsible’ part.

We’re all for consensual sexual adventure and exploration. But there is nothing adventurous about contracting an STD – you’ve got to be smart about it. Be prepared—carry condoms, know how to put them on, and be ready to say no if condoms are part of the picture!

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Walker Thornton is a writer, sex educator and public speaker. Her blog, WalkerThornton.com, was ranked #5 by Kinkly.com in their top 100 Sex Blogging Superheroes of 2014. She is a strong advocate for women’s sexuality, encouraging women to ‘step into their desire’. Walker is the Sexual Health columnist for Midlife Boulevard and writes about sex and the older adult for Kinkly.com. You can connect with her on her website, Facebook, or Twitter.

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