Adolescents should have correct information concerning risks involved in sexual activity. One risk is
sexually transmitted diseases
, or STDs. It is important that correct information is given concerning the diseases, such as methods of transmission, symptoms, treatment and prevention. Any STD may carry a stigma of shame, which may prevent the infected victim from seeking treatment.
STDs are infectiously transmitted, but not exclusively by sexual intercourse. Sexually transmitted diseases are more often acquired by people who have many new sex partners, or who share IV needles for some STDs are also transmitted through the blood.
During the second World War, STDs increased in the United States and Europe and decreased with the introduction of penicillin, which provided a cure for syphilis and gonorrhea. In the 1960’s and 70’s STDs increased again with the introduction of the birth control pill. These inventions allowed couples not to use barrier contraceptives, which had also provided some protection against infection.
In the 1970’s and 80’s antibiotics provided a rapid cure for most patients. Also in the 1970’s it became apparent that certain STDs (herpes and hepatitis B) could not be cured, with hepatitis sometimes being fatal. Promiscuous sex is now a high-risk activity.