Adolescents account for a large portion of the reported cases of sexually transmitted diseases (STD) worldwide. There are roughly 20 million new cases of STDs each year in the United States, 50% of which are people between the ages of 15 and 24, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The high statistics may be the effect of reasons such as young people lacking transportation to STD testing locations, feeling embarrassed to get tested, having a schedule that conflicts with test dates, and not having enough money. As a result, one in four teenagers contract an STD every year, an estimation done by the American Social Health Association and the Minnesota Department of Health.
There are more than 20 types of STDs, which are also known as sexually transmitted infections. The most common STDs include Chlamydia, Genital Herpes, Gonorrhea, Hepatitis B, Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, Human Papillomavirus, Syphilis, and Trichomoniasis. STDs can commonly cause painful urination, uncomfortableness around the genitals, painful intercourse, genital rashes, nausea, fatigue, loss of appetite, and other symptoms that will vary depending on the specific type of STD.
Individuals can contract an STD through sexual contact and the transfer of bodily fluids as a result of the transmission of bacteria, parasites, viruses, and yeasts from one person to the next. Correctly using latex condoms greatly reduces the chance of receiving an STD but does not completely eliminate the possibility.
Symptoms may not always be obvious, and those who are sexually active should test for STDs regularly. Individuals who are concerned should visit a local STD testing center or doctor for additional information and diagnosis. The nearest STD testing locations include the Alhambra Health Center and Kaiser Permanente Montebello Medical Offices. With insurance, an initial test may cost up to $100, but there may be financial assistance if requested.
School Nurse Louise Tsoi provides brochures and information regarding STDs in the nurse’s office. Tsoi will talk individually with students and staff if they have questions or concerns.