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STI facts that teens ought to know

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), also referred to as sexually transmitted infections (STIs), can be a delicate topic, despite it being a cause for concern, especially among teens. Here are some facts that you ought to know.

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STIs & the risk to teens

STIs can affect everyone and anyone that is sexually active. Each year, new infections are almost equally split between teen males and females, at 51% and 49% respectively.

Young adults aged 15 to 24 account for a quarter of the sexually active public, yet they make up 50% of cases of new STIs. 25% of teenagers will find themselves with an STI each year, with certain types of infections being more common in this age group. For example, in 2012, gonorrhoea was most prevalent in those under 20.

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In England, statistics from 2015 show that 62% of those diagnosed with chlamydia were between 15 to 24 years of age. This age group also accounted for 51% of those with genital warts, 41% of those with genital herpes and 52% of those with gonorrhoea.

STI Testing

Many STIs will go unnoticed, as they don’t cause any noticeable symptoms, at least not in the earlier stages. Embarrassment and uncertainty, as well as thinking there’s no need to get checked out, may all account for why so many don’t get tested. Of adults aged between 18 to 44, less than half of them have been tested for sexually transmitted diseases, apart from HIV or AIDS. Regular STI checks are important, and testing for some types can even be done at home. Home STI kits in London are available from greenwichsexualhealth.

Common STIs and viruses

The human papilloma virus (HPV) is a virus most sexually active adults will have contracted in their lifetime. Nonetheless, if the virus develops, it can cause precancerous cell changes in women and potentially, in severe cases, lead to cervical cancer.

Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United Kingdom, which can go unnoticed, as many won’t experience symptoms.

There are numerous types of sexually transmitted infections and while some may be less concerning or damaging to health, the risk of passing on an STI, potential complications and long-term health implications of others make the issue incredibly important for every sexually active teen.


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