Yes, it is your problem! CDC estimates that $16 billion are spent on STDs in the US. Half of the estimated 20 million new infections were in our 15-24 year olds.

https://www.cdc.gov/std/stats/default.htm

https://www.innerbody.com/std-testing/std-statistics

Click to access STD-Trends-508.pdf

Click to access sti-incidence-prevalence-cost-fact-sheet-508.pdf

The CDC came out with it’s report for 2018 on reported STD cases in the US. I’ve included the links to the CDC website and to Innerbody.com who wrote a very useful article on the CDC report including an interactive map showing rates across the US. You can click on your city or county and get the statistics. They also listed the cities with the highest rates and the top three states with the highest rates. California came in as the worst state with Ohio and Texas tying for second place. This is not a contest I would wish to win. The south has terrible statistics.

CDC reported STDs in the US 2018:

  • 2,457,118 combined cases of Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Syphilis

CDC estimated statistics STDs:

  • 20 million annual new infections
  • 110 million total infections
  • $16 billion total medical costs
  • Half of all new infections are young men and women aged 15-24

Anyone who has read much of my blog has probably figured out that I get in the crosshairs of the religious right 8 days out of 7. I am never going to be onboard with their head-in-the-sand/butt-in-the-air mentality on real life issues such as this one. The above statistics show why I’m not onboard. Clearly, the abstinence approach isn’t very effective. Before you say not where I live, maybe you should check the interactive map. You also might want to consider the following: on occasion your teenager might leave the immediate area in which you live, some STDs are transmitted skin to skin and actual sexual intercourse does not need to take place, and birth control pills protect against zero STDs.

Birth control pills are to prevent pregnancies. They don’t prevent the spread of STDs. I’m highlighting this information because it is always dumbfounding to me how many adults don’t understand birth control pills do not prevent STDs. I have no sympathy for men and boys having casual sex then complaining they were trapped into fatherhood. You were acting irresponsibly. That’s the actual fact. So was she. You weren’t trapped into anything. You should have used a condom to prevent the spread of STDs and prevent pregnancy. That was your choice. The birth control pill isn’t 100 percent effective in preventing pregnancies. Grow up. Man up.

I live in the middle of the bible belt in rural America. Sex education in schools can really start some drama. Churches as a general rule believe in teaching abstinence. OK, well I can’t think of a better way to convince a teenager to wait to have sex than an STD course. Teenagers and young adults are not known for making the best decisions when it concerns hormones and long term consequences to their actions. They ALL need to be taught the actual facts of how to prevent the spread of diseases and pregnancies. They all need to be taught the symptoms of STDs and the fact that they can be asymptomatic while still spreading the disease. Let’s face it, some of these diseases are for life. For girls, they can affect their ability to have children. The above reported statistics do not even include Herpes or HPV. The estimates include all STDs. The rate of STDs being spread is increasing instead of decreasing in the US. The religious right likes to claim the moral high ground and preach abstinence and other’s bad choices involve consequences. A lot of them will actually tell you that other’s choices don’t affect their lives. YES THEY DO. Public health costs affect every individual in the US. We spent an estimated $16 billion on STDs alone last year in the US. How is that not everyone’s problem? That $16 billion is just STDs. It doesn’t include unwanted and/or teenage pregnancy costs. Basic sex education in public schools is a must. Parents are not teaching the information at home. Frankly, some of them don’t know the information themselves. If your school does not teach adequate sex education, or any at all, the CDC has a printable fact sheet for educational purposes on the link I provided. It’s a very good fact sheet for teenagers. There is no excuse for the lack of education and these numbers in our country. It’s disgraceful and preventable. Religion should never be an excuse for not teaching our children basic facts that could permanently affect and improve their lives in a positive and healthy manner.

There is currently a STI Federal Action Plan through OASH with a proposed release date of 2020.

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