A recent government report contains an eye-opening statistic: 46 percent of high school students have had sexual intercourse and potentially are at risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STI), according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In fact, one in four sexually active teenagers has an STD.
The lead author, Ramin Bastani, of two CDC studies called it “an ongoing, severe STI epidemic.”
Nearly 50 percent of the 19 million new STD infections are diagnosed in people between the ages of 15 to 24, according to a CDC news release. “The CDC says significant reductions in new infections are not only possible, they're urgently needed.”
Parents can play a key role in educating children about STDs. Bastani also said technology is making it easier. He developed Qpid.me, a free, simple way to obtain, securely store and privately share STD results for teens as young as 13. Here's how it works: Go to a doctor or clinic and get tested, request and receive your STD results via online fax which are then stored on Qpid.me.
Here are some more surprising STD stats from the CDC:
* About one in three sexually active high school students did not use a condom during last sexual intercourse.
* New estimates show there are about 20 million new infections in the United States each year.
* Treating eight of the most common STI’s in a year costs the American health care system nearly $16 billion in direct medical costs alone.
* Gonorrhea in the United States has risen for the first time in decades and is now resistant to most antibiotics.