Sexual Health Implications
The U.S. has the highest rate of sexually transmitted disease (STD) among industrialized countries, and higher than in some developing countries. Somewhere between 12 and 15 million Americans acquire STD every year. Worldwide, 333 million cases of curable STD (not including AIDS and other viral STD) occur annually. "But what's the big deal if they're curable?" you might well ask. Answer: the fact that there may not be symptoms but can lead to very serious long-term consequences (infertility, HIV/AIDS infection and various forms of cancer).
Institute of Medicine found that 87% of infectious diseases in the U.S. are sexually transmitted and recommended we "overcome barriers to the adoption of healthy sexual behaviors." The Sexual Health Network and Sexualhealth.com offer a "social vaccine," endorsed by leaders in the fight against this scourge. No, not an injection, but the single most effective weapon we have - talking openly about sex. Communication about sexual health is frequently unsuccessful or absent in our most important relationships: parent-child, sex partners, and
doctor-patient. Because STDs are so often symptomless, non-communication feeds the epidemic. Sex partners often have no knowledge of one another's sexual history and most doctors do not ask about patients' risk for STD.
Sexually transmitted diseases or infections have so many dirty, sleazy implications that even when we feel comfortable talking about sex in general we may still have trouble with this specific topic. The possibility of having an STD can affect our feelings about our sexuality, our relationships and ourselves. We provide a private, professional atmosphere to ask your questions. Knowledge, life skills and resources are the answer.