It may make for uncomfortable reading but the rise of common STI’s in young people is startling, with viruses such as chlamydia, herpes and genital warts making a steady increase year upon year. One theory as to why this is happening is not so much sexual promiscuity as general lack of awareness and education. If you have teenagers or young people living with you, it may be that you have discussed the emotional repercussions of entering into a physical relationship, but has it crossed your mind to forewarn about the dangers of STI’s?
Genital warts are the most common sexually transmitted infection among young people today. They are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV) which can be passed on during sexual contact. Not everyone who has the virus develops genital warts and, for the vast majority, including those who have visible warts, the virus will eventually be entirely cleared from the body. Those with visible warts may wish to seek treatment to clear the virus more quickly; the least invasive option being to use a cream. Aldara cream is widely available (you can buy Aldara online here) and, whilst not exactly cheap, is very effective.
Genital herpes is the second most common STI in young people; it causes painful blisters on the genitals and the surrounding areas. Medication is available for herpes outbreaks but will not offer a long-term cure as Herpes is a chronic condition with the virus remaining in your body and likely to become active again. The average rate of recurrence is four times in the first couple of years after being infected.
The most important factor in combatting these viruses is to arm our teens and young people with the facts so that they are able to make informed choices and decisions. As ready as they may be for a physical relationship, there are steps they can take to make sure that it is as healthy and risk-free as possible.
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