Abstinence-Only Does Not Work; Vaccinations and Sex Talks Imperative To Protect Teens

Abstinence-Only Does Not Work; Vaccinations and Sex Talks Imperative To Protect Teens

With so much infor­ma­tion and treat­ment for STDs avail­able, one would assume that they’d be wiped out, but that doesn’t appear to be the case.

In fact, the num­ber of STD cas­es has been on the rise. For some, edu­ca­tion and con­doms aren’t the answer, as they’re more focused on absti­nence. While this may be the only way NOT to get an STD, it’s not the real­is­tic way to do it.

No mat­ter what par­ents or pas­tors have to say, teenagers are going to have sex and with more than one per­son like­ly. And some­times, a per­son who only had one sex­u­al expe­ri­ence could be diag­nosed with an STD.

Accord­ing to Chero­kee Coun­ty Health Depart­ment offi­cials in Okla­homa, state sta­tis­tics show that there’s been a rise in the num­ber of STDs – syphilis especially.

Based on the 2016 infor­ma­tion, there were 85 cas­es of hepati­tis C, 264 cas­es of both pri­ma­ry and sec­ondary syphilis, 7,574 cas­es of gon­or­rhea and over 21,000 chlamy­dia cas­es. Still, the most seri­ous of all STDs is HPV or human papil­lo­mavirus. This STD can cause gen­i­tal warts and cer­vi­cal and oth­er kinds of can­cer in women. Men are also sus­cep­ti­ble to the dis­ease and could be diag­nosed with HPV-relat­ed cancer.

Thank­ful­ly, par­ents can pro­tect their kids with HPV vac­cine, but only if the par­ents under­stand that their chil­dren will have sex at some point in time. Par­ents who fail to pro­vide their teenagers with infor­ma­tion about STDs actu­al­ly encour­age these kids to engage in sex­u­al behav­ior or give them per­mis­sion to have sex.

This lack of care” can lead to a life-or-death sit­u­a­tion. For exam­ple, HIV/AIDS is still run­ning ram­pant. While the infect­ed have bet­ter treat­ment options and can live a life close to nor­mal, they still are infect­ed with the virus. In 2016, there were near­ly 6,000 peo­ple in Okla­homa with the disease.

Health offi­cials don’t like mak­ing judg­ments calls for the rise in STDs, but ratio­nale sug­gests a lack of infor­ma­tion, tools and care­less­ness as the mit­i­gat­ing fac­tors. After all, many par­ents are opposed to pub­lic schools offer­ing sex edu­ca­tion under the guise that par­ents should be respon­si­ble for this. While there is truth behind that, most par­ents are afraid to talk with their kids – fear­ing their kids are already hav­ing sex.

While the answer to the prob­lem isn’t easy, it’s sim­ple. Talk­ing to kids about sex and sex-relat­ed dis­eases is the sure­fire way to stem the chances of them hav­ing unpro­tect­ed sex. While encour­ag­ing them to be absti­nence is a good thing, it should nev­er be the end all, be all to sex edu­ca­tion. It’s impor­tant teenagers are giv­en the right resources, so they are not faced with STDs or unwant­ed pregnancies.

And, teenagers should get their vaccinations!


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