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Teens and Sex – Sex and Disease

Since the beginning of the semester we’ve been working in groups in order to complete a mid term report, based on our picked topic. I’m part of the group Sex in the New Millennium. We as a group focused our attention on three main categories, sexuality, and sexual preferences, Pregnancies and abortions, and finally sexually transmitted diseases. Sex is the key ingredient that most companies and advertising agencies are using to sell their products. And as a result we the viewers (being what ever age we may be) are the true victims.

You turn on the television and the first thing you see is someone or something being sexually exploited. Daytime TV and talk shows are long time abusers of this. As a result more and more people are practicing sex all over the country and the world. And coeincidentliy the ages of these participants are getting younger and younger. STDs are the at a all time high. What are STDs ? STDs are sexually transmitted diseases, formerly called venereal diseases (VD), which are transmitted by direct sexual contact. Some are considered among the most serious diseases of the world .

Any person who is sexually active or is thinking about having sexual activity should be familiar with the symptoms, prevention , and treatment of these diseases. Most forms of STDs may be treated and cured in the early stages, but putting off treatment can be dangerous. The germs that cause sexually transmitted diseases can survive only for a few seconds in the air, so the diseases are transmitted only by direct body contact. Like most other diseases we do not know where or when sexually transmitted diseases started.

To add to the list of STDs there is the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) which may lead to Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). In North and South America combined, there are estimates that up to 2 million people are currently infected with the HIV virus. The World Health Organization estimates that 8-10 million adults and 1 million children worldwide are infected with the AIDS virus. By the year 2000, 40 million people may be infected with the virus . More than 90% of these persons will likely reside in the developing countries. Based on 1989 data, AIDS is the number four cause of death in males ages 15-54.

Other sexually transmitted diseases continue to be a major problem in the United States also, with more than 12 million new cases occurring every year, including 4 million cases of chlamydia and 1. 4 million cases of gonorrhea. Sexually transmitted diseases are particularly important to women, because there offspring share the same consequences from them, including pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, tubal pregnancy,or HIV. Any form of sexual contact in which the sex organs of one person are in direct contact with the sex organs, mouth , or anus of another can transmit the germs of most STDs, if they are present.

There are many STDs, some of the most common STDs are Gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, and genital herpes. We can’t forget the ever so growing HIV virus. Gonorrhea is sometimes called “Clap” or “The Drip” in slang. It is caused by bacteria that can attack the tissues lining the urethra, the cervix of women, the anus, the throat, or the eyelids. This diseases is shared by both men and women. In terms with the male, symptoms usually develop within a week after sexual contact with the infected person. The first sign is usually a burning and itching feeling during urination, and even severe pain.

With women the symptoms are not that easy to detect. In a lot of women, few symptoms are noticed until the disease has progressed into a serious infection. In the mouth or throat, gonorrhea germs do not last very long, but they can move around when they are present. There may be a sore throat or no symptoms at all. Syphilis, this infection is caused by a germ known as a “spirochete”, a tiny microscopic organism. Once this has entered the body it begins to multiply. The diseases when untreated has three stages. 1) Early Syphilis- Within a month or two after contact , small, reddish, painless, sores appear on skin.

This is called chancre. These can show up in the mouth or anywhere else on the body. Even without treatment the chancre heals in four to ten weeks. However the germs have moved beyond. 2) Secondary Syphilis- This probably won’t show for several weeks. You will have a rash over large portions of your body along with a slight fever. 3)Late Syphilis- If you haven’t seen a doctor at this point, the syphilis germs may infect any part of your body with serious results. Untreated syphilis may eventually result in death. Chlamydia, this microorganism is now the most widespread STD in the United States.

Part of this is because there are no clearly identified dangers until it is too late. Most all that suffer from this do not develop early symptoms. If they do they are similar to Gonorrhea. Genital Herpes, this infection has now become one ofd the one common and more serious of the STD. Its name comes from the herpes virus that causes the infection , like the one that causes cold sores around the mouth. Usually within three weeks after sexual contact with an infected person, an area on the sex organ starts to itch or burn and eventually blister.

Like cold sore the blisters heal, but the virus stays in the body, and there may be flare ups again. There are two main dangers for women, one may be cervical cancer, in addition the virus can effect babies during the birth process, leading to serious disease or death. Hepatitis B, is a viral liver infection often spread through sexual contact. It is especially common among homosexual males who participate in anal intercourse. Some symptoms are fever, chills, nausea, and a sick feeling that persist for many weeks.

A new vaccine to prevent the disease is currently being tested, and may soon be available as a preventive measure. Gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia are easily treated if you see a medical doctor. Penicillin or other antibiotics are usually prescribed. Because they are caused by viruses, herpes and hepatitis B are not curable by any medicine, but there uncomfortable symptoms may be relieved. Any one who suspects the presence of a sexually transmitted disease should seek medical attention immediately! Simple tests can show whether or not the disease are present, and if so , appropriate treatment can be given.

Informing partners that you may have infected them with an STD or that you may have contracted STD from them is also a part of the responsibility of having sex. STDs including the HIV virus are increasing at an all time high. Your best and safest way to protect yourself would be to not participate in premarital sex. If you do choose to participate in premarital sex please use protection. There are various methods of protection out there. And for all those women who blame the men in their lives for not wearing condom, you have contraceptive methods also.

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