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Risky Business: Teens and STDs

Adolescent Myths About STDs

Teens (and many young adults) believe a lot of things about sex and STDs that are not true. Among the myths:

  • You cannot get an STD from oral or anal intercourse
  • You will see definite signs of an STD if you are infected
  • Only adults or "slutty" people can get STDs.
  • You cannot get an STD the first time you have sexual intercourse

In fact, this list may be a good starting point for talking with your children about the risks and consequences of sex. Roughly half of high school students who participated in a 2013 CDC survey admitted to having been sexually active, and about 40 percent of these students admitted they had not used a condom the last time they had sex.

Surprisingly, many schools still do not instruct students about the benefits of condom use, one of which is a drastic drop in the spread of STDs. Of course, abstinence is the only way to be 100 percent safe. But as parents, we have to face reality: Abstinence is not going to be the choice of many adolescents and young adults. So make sure they know the facts about what is — or is not — sexually safe.

Speak with your children about sexuality, sex, and STDs. Let them know the facts, and make sure they understand the possible consequences. Even if they roll their eyes or try to ignore you, the information will still get through to them.

I specialize in diagnosing and treating STDs and other infectious diseases, and the number of teens coming in with serious sexually transmitted diseases is reaching epidemic, heartbreaking levels. If parents take the time to get informed and then inform their children, we can help fix this disturbing problem.

Communicate openly with your children, then trust them to take the knowledge you've given them to make appropriate decisions when you’re not around.

Last Updated:7/17/2017
Important:The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not Everyday Health.
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Date: 14.12.2018, 06:39 / Views: 62265


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