The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Opinion-Study shows rise in STDs in youths

Illustration by Daniel Worthington
Illustration by Daniel Worthington
Illustration by Daniel Worthington
Illustration by Daniel Worthington

A national study shows one in four young women are infected with sexually transmitted diseases, and may not even know they have it.

According to www.nytimes.com, this national study focused on four common sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs, among young women.

These STDs would include human papillomavirus (HPV), Chlamydia, genital herpes and trichomoniasis, a common parasite.

Each infection can be serious, but each has small side effects; therefore, a woman may be unaware she has it.

Society needs to educate children at a young age about sex and STDs.

Girls may be having sex too young and be unaware of what they are doing to their bodies. If the girl has sex and gets an infection in her early teens, she may not find out she has an infection until she faces consequences of cancer or not being able to have children.

“High STD infection rates among young women, particularly young African-American women, are clear signs we must continue developing ways to reach those most at risk,” Dr. John M. Douglas Jr., director of the center’s division of STD prevention, said in the New York Times story.

Each infection is caused by bacteria, viruses and parasites and can produce symptoms of vaginal discharge, pelvic inflammatory disease and potentially fatal ectopic pregnancy. If these infections are not treated or found, they can lead to infertility and cervical cancer.

Any young woman who is sexually active should get tested every year for these potentially harmful diseases.

It is also important to get vaccinated for HPV, a virus that can cause cancer and genital warts, which comes in a series of three shots called Gardasil. It is recommended women ages 11 to 26 get the vaccination.

If any young women find out they have a sexually transmitted disease, it is important to talk to their partner about treatment for them as well.

“Far too many young women are at risk for the serious health effects of untreated STDs,” Dr. Sara Forhan, a researcher at the center and the lead author of the national study, said.

Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, believes more sex education is needed to help young adolescents know more about sex and STDs.

This education is needed in the elementary schools.

Most parents do not want to believe their children are engaging in sexual activities, but parents need to realize that in their silence they are condoning their children’s behavior.

Through our silence we have allowed our children to believe that sex at an early age is okay.

Children pattern their activities after their peers, and we need to make sure that our children realize their adult lives are at stake.

Let us stress that education is the key to ensure that STDs are eliminated.

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