Teenagers and STDs

April 16, 2009 by admin 

Ten percent of Americans are teenagers and less than half of them have had sexual intercourse. But the teens and young adults who have had sex get 50 percent of newly diagnosed STDs each year.

Your son or daughter needs to know about STDs. You don’t need to be an expert on STDs. But this part of the web site tells you about the most common STDs. It will help you answer your son or daughter’s questions. This Web site has some basic information. If you have more questions or concerns, please contact your health care provider. To learn more, visit Common STDs.

STDs are spread three ways:

* Sex: This includes vaginal, anal, and oral sex. Some STDs can also be spread when skin touches skin during sex, or touching of sexual organs.

* Blood contact: Some STDs can be spread through infected blood. Used needles can have infected blood on them and can spread some STDs.

* Pregnancy: A pregnant female can give some STDs to her unborn baby. A mother can give some STDs to her baby when breastfeeding.

How to talk to your Teenagers about STD

Talk with your child early and often. Listen to him or her. Talking and listening are very important but not enough. Be available. It is also important to spend time together and to do things together. Children need to know they can come to you when THEY have a question or want to talk.

Elementary School Age

You can talk about love and relationships with a child as young as six. You don’t tell a six-year-old the details about sex. But you can tell him or her about affection, love, and treating other people with respect. And you can tell your child why he or she should always expect to be treated with respect. When your child is old enough to ask questions, he or she is old enough to receive simple and correct answers.

Middle School Age
When your child is in middle school you can be very clear with him or her. Tell your pre-teen or teen why it is important to make good decisions about sex. Talk to him or her about setting goals for the future. Talk about feelings, relationships, and waiting to have sex. Talk about why waiting until marriage is a healthy choice and why waiting to have sex fits with your values.

High School Age
When your teen gets into high school, keep talking. This can be a time that many parents find particularly challenging to keep the lines of communication open. But keep talking! High school is a critical period during which your child faces many outside pressures and really needs your love, support, and guidance.

During these years, you can get more grown up in what you talk about. Tell them what you think. Ask them what they think. Talk about dating, relationships, values, and self-control. Continue to talk about their goals. Talk about the risks of having sex too young. Make sure your child knows he or she can come to you and talk about anything. To learn more, visit The W.I.S.E. Way to Raise Kids.

(By the way, remember that some of the words pre-teens and teens use mean different things to them. And the meanings change. So ask for translation!)

Don’t just talk about sex. Talk about smoking, and drugs and alcohol. Kids who smoke are more likely to use drugs and alcohol. And kids who drink and use drugs are more likely to have sex. Be sure to also talk about the positive happenings in their lives. What things do they enjoy?

The connection between drugs, alcohol, and sex is clear:

*  One survey showed that almost 1 out of 4 teens that had sex say they used drugs or drank alcohol the last time they had sex.

*  Teens who drink are seven times more likely to have had sexual intercourse than teens who don’t drink.

*  Teens who use drugs are five times more likely to have had sexual intercourse.

You can learn lots more about these risky behaviors at another part of this Web site called Sex and Risky Youth Behaviors.


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