811 W. John Street, Yorkville, IL 60560
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Growing Concerns Among Our Young Adults

August 14, 2015

Approximately 20 million new cases of STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) each year are diagnosed in the United States, and over half of those are young adults, male and female, between the ages of 15 to 24 years of age. Young adults are at greater risk for the following reasons:

  • Young women’s bodies are biologically more susceptible to STDs;
  • Many young people are hesitant to talk openly to their physicians and families about their sex life;
  • They are not even aware that they have it, so they do not seek treatment early on;
  • They may not have insurance or transportation to access health care;
  • Some young people may have more than one sex partner;
  • For young adults peer pressure regarding sexual activity is difficult to deal with.

In Kendall County, in 2014, there were 190 female, and 72 male cases of Chlamydia; 34 total cases of Gonorrhea, and 4 cases of Syphilis. That represents an alarming number of cases of STDs, and the numbers continue to rise. Why are we seeing this influx? The following are some of the contributing factors. Age: It won’t happen to me… (a feeling of invincibility); Environmental: The social media glorifying sex; Race: Disparities in prevention and treatment due to cultural beliefs and norms; Access to healthcare: The inability to afford health insurance, or insurance deductibles and co-pays. STDs may also disproportionately affect disenfranchised people and those in social networks where high-risk sexual behavior is common; and last but not least, a lack of education on the risk and protective factors of STDs.

Many STDs do not have symptoms that one would notice, so the only way to know for sure is to be tested. Chlamydia is asymptomatic for the majority of the highest risk population, those individuals between the ages of 15 and 24. It is important to be tested early on.

The only absolute way to protect yourself and others from the risk of infection is to practice abstinence, which means not having any sex, including oral. If however you are physically intimate with another, use or insist on the use of a condom to minimize your risk. And consider monogamous relationships (one partner). Most importantly, your partner should always respect your right to say no to anything that does not feel right. For more information, please feel free to call the Kendall County Health Department at (630) 553-9100.

Serving the Residents of Kendall County Since 1966
811 W. John Street, Yorkville, IL 60560   •   630-553-9100