Teen Pregnancy Rates Are Down, But Teen STI Rates Are Up
For the first time in a very long time, the teen pregnancy rate in the U.S. has started to drop. But while they’ve been so diligent about preventing pregnancy, it seems that teens have been forgetting about the other unfortunateÂ side effect that can come with unprotected sex: STIs.
In fact, while the teen pregnancy rate has gone down 18% from 2008 t0 2011, teen diagnoses of herpes and genital warts, among other STIs, are up.
According to a recent report, “half of the new STI cases that occur each year are acquired by individuals between 15 and 24 years of age, even though they represent only one-quarter of the sexually active population.”
From 2005 to 2007, teen rates of herpes increased by 13% while the teen rate of genital wartsÂ increased by 6%. TheÂ number of new diagnoses was even greater for teenage girls, up 16%. Girls are alsoÂ more likely to contract a case of gonorrhea or chlamydia than boys are.
Teens seem to have forgotten that while long term birth control methods protect you and your partner from accidentally popping out a kid, it doesn’t prevent either of you from accidentally contracting a sexually transmitted disease.
In a recent study published by JAMA Pediatrics, it was found that girls who use IUDs are 60% less likely to have their partner use a condom during sex.
Girls… seriously?! Are you forgetting that contracting a case of HIV is equally bad and arguably worse than having an unplanned pregnancy at age 16? And at least an unplanned pregnancy can be stopped. An STD can stick with you your entire life.
While we would all love to live in a perfect world where casual sex came with no consequences, that’s just not how it works. Just like the way a delicious donut is laced with sugar and a ton of empty calories, great sex can result inÂ a sexually transmitted infection.
If a dude tries to give you some bullshit excuse about how he’s “too big” for condoms or that he can’t finish with one on? Sucks for him. Unless you’re positive that you’re in a monogamous relationship, you really shouldn’t risk your own health by telling a guy that it’s okay for him to go in raw. WhetherÂ you’re on birth control or not should have no effect on if a guy needs to wear a condom. Go finish outÂ your teenage years without a baby and without an STD!