School Health: What you need to know about STIs

There are 20 million sexually transmitted infections diagnosed in the United States every year. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) affect all ages, but the majority occur in people ages 15-24. Most HPV infections are acquired during this time. Also, men who have sex with men have higher rates of STIs than the general population.

The best way to prevent STI transmission is to use a condom with every single sexual encounter. Free condoms are available for Medicaid subscribers as well as through the Oakland County Health Department. Some symptoms of an STI may include burning during urination, unusual discharge from vagina or penis, pain with sex, unusual vaginal odor, unexplained rashes, abdominal pain with or without nausea/vomiting, and tender or swollen testicles.

If you are having sex, or are thinking about becoming sexually active, learn about STI prevention and use condoms to protect yourself and your partner. Abstaining from sex is the only way to 100% protect yourself from getting an STI – or giving one to someone else.

The most common STIs are gonorrhea and chlamydia. These are particularly problematic because many people don’t experience symptoms. These are easy to treat, but if left undetected, can be harmful over time.

Many things contribute to increased rates of STIs in adolescents, including having multiple sexual partners, short term sexual relationships, failing to use condoms (or other forms of barrier protection) regularly and correctly, and obstacles to accessing healthcare. 

Teens and young adults who are sexually active or are thinking of becoming sexually active should be screened yearly for STIs. These services can be obtained confidentially at School-Based Health Centers. Schedule an appointment today at your Center.


STIs: What are the facts?

  • More than 500 million people are estimated to have herps.
  • More than 290 million women have human papillomavirus (HPV).
  • More than 30 million bacteria, viruses, and parasites can be shared through sexual contact.
  • 15-24 year olds account for half of all new STIs.
  • The most common symptom of STIs is having no symptoms at all.
  • Gonorrhea and Chlamydia are major causes of pelvic imflammatory disease (PID) and infertility in women.
  • Vaccines are available for STIs: Hepatitis B and HPV.
  • Every year there are an estimated 357 million new infections with 1 of 4 STIs: chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and trichomoniasis.

Source: http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/sesxually-transmitted-infections-(stis)