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STD Awareness and Our Youth Obsession by Guest Blogger By Michelle Sobel of STD Test Express

Posted Jun 15 2010 6:02am

STD's STDs are an important topic that can sometimes get brushed aside when thinking about surrogacy and third party births.

Yet, according to the CDC, Chlamydia and gonorrhea are the most important, preventable causes of infertility. These infections, if left untreated can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) for up to 40 percent of women. PID can not only lead to infertility, but also to potentially fatal ectopic pregnancy.

An unnoticed STD can cause serious problems during pregnancy.

That’s why it’s important to pay special attention during National STD Awareness Month. However, if you look at the way efforts are being made to drive awareness, you might think STDs only afflict young people – or that they’re the only ones vulnerable to the inflictions of an STD. This year, the CDC, Planned Parenthood, the Kaiser Family Foundation, and others are sponsoring a great awareness campaign by MTV to encourage young people to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases.  It’s called Get Yourself Tested or GYT and it’s a terrific campaign.

But what about the rest of us? Women in their 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond are an important demographic too! While it is critical to teach young people how to protect themselves, it is important to focus on the remainder of the population as well. Especially because the highest number of newly acquired cases of HIV/AIDS have been found in middle-aged adults, ages 35 to 44. According to the CDC, the next highest age group is people ages 45 to 54 with the least affected group being the youngest, ages 25 to 34.

The new faces of STDs are not just sexually overactive teens or drug users, it’s the women approaching 40 who aren’t using condoms or the divorced 42-year-old dad who’s dating again after many years and doesn’t know how to bring up the subject of using protection of STD testing .

While there are certainly plenty of causes for this, it might just be that grownups are not so good at using proper protection. In a University of Chicago survey of single women ages 58 to 93, nearly 60% said they didn’t use a condom the last time they had sex. A May 2008 study conducted by the New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene showed that among single people with at least two sexual partners, 56% of people over age 45 reported using condoms the last time they had sex, compared with 61% of 25-to-44-year-olds and 80% of 18-to-24-year-olds.

Yet, it is this age group who’s sexual health is possibly most important. Throughout the years where we are trying to have children and start a family, are the same years we are taking the most risks – even if we don’t realize it.

Grownups — here’s our message during STD Awareness Month,  please hear it.  STDs and HIV are preventable.  Please be sure to make STD screening an important part of your surrogacy. You may be struggling with your own fertility problems and having an STD impact your third party birth would be devastating.

 

Michelle Sobel is the co-founder of STD Test Express, the leader in Online Care for private STD testing and is the only service to provide free phone consultation with physicians for results counseling and follow-up care. Michelle has been a leader in promoting health through Online Care for nearly a decade and continues to break the barriers of health services with regular contributions to new innovations.www.stdtestexpress.com

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