The numbers are disturbing: according to the Center for Disease Control, young people aged 15 to 24 make up 27 percent of our country’s population, but they account for 50 percent of the 20 million new cases of sexually transmitted diseases acquired in the country each year. In an era of easy access to information and sex education classes, one wonders why such a large number of teens are affected by STDs. The Center for Disease Control attributes it to a lack of knowledge about these diseases and a dearth of available screenings for them.
Many individuals who have contracted an STD may not even be aware of the disease because they may not immediately display symptoms. According to the CDC, Human Papillomavirus is now the most common STD among 14- to 19-year-olds, affecting an estimated 35 percent of that demographic. Women are at a higher risk of contracting an STD than men are, with women under 25 now displaying the highest rates of infection for gonorrhea and chlamydia.