Just in Time for Valentine's Day: Young Women at 'Greater Risk' for STDs

Illustration for article titled Just in Time for Valentine's Day: Young Women at 'Greater Risk' for STDs

You know what they say: Sex is like a fucked-up box of chocolates, you never know which one you're going to get! But, uh, odds are you're gonna get at least one in your lifetime.

And here's some even more terrible news. There are 19.7 million new sexually transmitted infections in the U.S each year, and 15 to 24 year olds account for half of them. CDC epidemiologist and one of the authors of the report, Catherine Satterwhite, says young people often don't have good insurance sources or difficulties accessing care.

"We've seen a disproportionate burden for quite a while," Satterwhite said in a telephone interview with Bloomberg. "Young women in particular are at greater risk." She added that making sure more young women are screened for chlamydia is important. You know, because everyone has it.

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She didn't add this, but we will: We're obviously doing a great job with the whole "keeping our most valuable resource safe" thing. No need for better sex education programs and easy access to STI protection. Stay the course, everybody, and good work!

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released these numbers in reports today; it's a special Valentine's Day kiss to all of us. They measured the data on eight sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea, hepatitis B, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, herpes and HPV, and came back with the summary finding: WE FUCKED.

Depressingly, sexually transmitted diseases cost us $16 billion each year to treat. Wouldn't it be great if we could get our shit together and use that money for something useful? You know, like our public school system? Or on the world's best cake and pie and Doritos and Funyons party for all of us? Honestly, we could fill ten high school gyms with Slinkies and it'd still be a better use of the money.

[Bloomberg]

Image via BonnieBC / Shutterstock.

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DISCUSSION

cheeseprom
notthatmuchcheese

Getting tested this week and I'm freaking out that I have something, but especially HPV. When I was in high school my hyper-conservative WOMAN doctor (that my mother loved for some reason) told me to hold off and not get the vaccine because they were still "working out the kinks." Um yeah, sure. She gave me a "wait to have sex" lecture before telling me to hold off on it. And all of my friends were telling me their doctors at the same clinic were encouraging it for everyone. Fast forward to a year later and my doc sheepishly tells me to "go ahead and get that" without looking me in the eye. By then I was in college, and the college clinic kept telling me to get it at home with my family doctor because it would be cheaper. Then I'd ask at home and they'd pass me off and I'd have to go back to college. All of this has led to me still being without the vaccination at 24. Why was this such a convoluted process for me? ETA: My point is, this is a critical health issue and should obviously should be a straightforward, accessible and cheap process for every young woman/girl.