Posted by: endithinks | November 15, 2007

On STD’s

I wanted to share some information about the risk of STD’s and how in the United States it is a slow epidemic that is often swept under the rug and left to non discussion.

 We have just finished a week long study of STD’S with special emphasis on HIV, HBV and HCV in particular.  Some of the information that I learned this time through the training in class was very different than the information I knew before.

I have taught this training three times now and I learn something new every-time I instruct it.  Firstly, the prevalence of STD’s in the United States especially amongst the young and minorities is extremely alarming.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that nearly half the new cases of HIV infection are taking place amongst 15-24 year olds.  Over half the new cases of other STD’s like Chlamydia and Gonorrhea are also cropping up disproportionately in the 15-24 year old age range.

These diseases are all preventable and take some practice to acquire them.

There are basically three main ways to fight the chances of contracting an STD.

1.  Sexual abstinence.  This means no sexual activity of any sort including oral, or assisted arousal.  This is the only means to be 100 percent in the clear.  (Why don’t groups that talk about abstinence use this fact in their arguments?  All they ever say is that this spirit or that spirit say no sex before marriage.)

2.  A long term monogamous relationship with a single partner who is uninfected with any STD’s and is one hundred percent faithful.  This only works if two facts are occurring.  One both partners have to be faithful to each-other in both sexual activity and in abstinence of intravenous drug use.  Secondly both partners have to be uninfected.

3.  Use of safer sex practices which means “use a latex condom.”  The use of a condom significantly reduces the chances of acquiring an STD. 

Birth control pills, birth control shots and the pull out method do not protect anyone from STD’s.  This fact needs to reach our young people in a major way.

The average lifespan of someone who has contracted HIV is 10-12 years.  That means that our children (15) are dying in their mid twenties.  This is a problem that needs to be on the front pages of every newspaper every day.  The fact that we are allowing our future to slip away is abominable.

One other fact that must be stressed is the prevalence of HIV infection amongst minority populations.  The rate of infection in the African American and Hispanic communities is disproportionally high and no one is saying anything about it. 

In some cases the reasons that nothing is being said is due to a false and disgusting belief that people who contract HIV or other STD’s are “getting what they deserve.”  This is especially true in some religious institutions who view this rampant and heartbreaking disease as “God’s punishment.”

This belief needs to change or we will see a cry raised from the depths of the human family that will drown out any prayer, chant or desire.  We will hear lamentations from all areas of the world as the worse epidemic in the human family grows in strength every year.

Why do we not see people in the streets protesting?  Why do parental groups fight to keep sex ed out of classrooms when the information could save their daughters and sons from wasting and potentially death?  Do we think that in our over-saturated sexually charged society that people will abstain from exploring the topic the majority of our advertising, and entertainment is based around?  Realistically it is naive to think that children are not engaging in activities that many of us haven’t experienced before wedding vows.

The average high school-er is sexually active.  They view sexual activities as “no big deal.”  They view oral sex as acceptable behaviour that is almost expected as the “very least” you can expect from girlfriends or boyfriends.  STD’s including HIV can be spread through oral contact. 

For more information go here to the Center for Disease Control.  Take a look and reevaluate where you stand on education.  The only way to conquer a problem is to face it.

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