Pregnancy may not be the only result of sex. STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) and STIs (sexually transmitted infections) are often times the result of sexual activity. Some STDs and STIs are curable, others are not. There can be lifelong consequences.

HIV – over 1.2 million individuals are living with HIV infection, 14% of those infected do not know they are infected and can unknowingly pass the virus to others. 25% of new HIV infections are among youth aged 13-24. If left untreated, HIV usually progresses to AIDS, which is incurable and can be fatal.

HPV – Human papillomavirus is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the US. There are many different types of HPV, some of which cause genital warts and cancer. Often carriers of HPV are unaware (symptom-free) and pass the infection to any and all sexual partners. It is the most common cause of cervical cancer.

Chlamydia – is a common sexually transmitted disease, which can be easily cured. If left untreated, it can make it difficult for women to become pregnant. Because the cervix in teenagers and young women is not fully formed, they are at greater risk for infection.

Gonorrhea – is a common sexually transmitted disease which can cause infections in the genitals, throat and rectum and can cause serious, long term health problems. Most women have NO symptoms. Gonorrhea can be passed from pregnant mother to her baby.

Being sexually active is a very important decision. Be informed, respect yourself and others.

Sources – HPV Infection – Fact Sheet – Chlamydia – CDC Fact Sheet – Gonorrhea – CDC Fact Sheet