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I AM in Iowa Adolescents Making Choices to Control Their Future Teen:Health, Relationship, Body and Sexuality
Dec 27

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

Posted By iamincontrol | December 27, 2012

By George

Let’s talk about Sexually Transmitted Infections, or STIs.  STIs are one of the most common illnesses affecting adolescents and young adults.  In fact, the majority of STI cases occur in this group.  First, let’s look at a few interesting facts.

Did you know…

  1. 1 in 2 sexually active young people get an STI by the age of 25.
  2. Many STIs cause no symptoms, meaning that you may have an STI and not know it.
  3. All STIs are treatable and many are curable.
  4. Untreated STIs can cause long-term damage.
  5. Getting tested is easy and confidential.

There are many types of STIs, which are caused by many different microbes and cause a variety of signs and symptoms.  However, as you read above, many STIs are asymptomatic, meaning that they cause no symptoms.  A person with an STI may not have any idea that they have one.   That’s why getting tested routinely is important for all sexually active teens and young adults, even if you have no symptoms.  At a minimum, sexually active teens and young adults should be tested once a year or with every new sex partner.  Hear why other teens decided to get tested in this video:

How do you get an STI?  STIs can be transmitted through any type of sex, including oral, vaginal, and anal.  It is important that you be open with your health care provider so he or she knows which STIs you are most at risk for and what tests to run.

How can you lower your risk of getting an STI?  Using condoms every time you have sex and using them correctly is the most effective way to lessen your chance of getting an STI.  Although correct use of condoms greatly reduces your risk for getting an STI, the only 100% method of prevention is abstinence.  This is why routine testing is important for all sexually active teens and young adults. 

Check out this cool site about STIs called Didja Know.  The site has links to more info about the different types of STIs and has quizzes like “The Rubber Test” to see if you’re using a condom right. 

Remember, you are in control of your sexual health.