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Teen Health 411
Teen Health 411

Sexually Transmitted Infections Still Increasing in U.S.



The CDC announced last week that the latest statistics on Chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis are still unacceptably high in the United States. The U.S. has some of the highest rates of sexually transmitted infections of any developed country in the world including 1.2 cases of Chlamydia in 2008 and syphilis cases, up 18 percent, are at 13,500. Men who have sex with men accounted for 63 percent of the syphilis cases, but the rate among women also increased 36 percent between 2007 and 2008.

Almost half of the 19 million new sexually transmitted infection cases reported each year are among 15- to 24-year-olds. Clearly marking the shift away from abstinence-only policies, the CDC called for better, more honest and open, sex education including how to use a condom, limiting the number of sexual partners, and avoiding people who have had multiple sex partners.

There is hope for the U.S. yet! Now, if we can get sexually active teens to get tested, even when they do not have any symptoms, we could stop nearly half of the new transmissions.

Photo credit: 20after4
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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.

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