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“For this reason, prevention programs based on promotion of responsible sexual behavior, early diagnosis and treatment and reduction of infectiousness have been implemented in many countries.” (Agozzino, Attena, & D'Agostino, 2004)Sexually transmitted diseases can affect individuals of all ages, but they are more prevalent in men and women, ages 15-24. Risk factors include multiple sexual partners, unprotected sexual intercourse, high frequency of sexual intercourse, high risk behavior, youngage at first intercourse, and unusual sexual practices. It is believed that STDs are more prominent in young individuals because they are less likely to be married, therefore they may have sex with multiple partners. Young individuals often fail to use condoms during sexual interaction and may be too embarrassed to go to regular check-ups and to get treatment for STDs. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that youth ages 15-24 make up just over one quarter of the sexually active population, but account for half of the 20 million new sexually transmitted infections that occur in the United States each year. If sexually transmitted diseases go untreated they can cause serious long term health issues especially in young women. According to the CDC, untreated STDs are responsible for infertility in at least 24,000 women 3
RUNNING HEAD: ANALYSIS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR STDseach year. It is estimated that STDs cost the United States healthcare system approximately $16 billion dollars annually. To help cut down the cost to our healthcare system, all sexually active individuals should be screened for STDs every 6 to 12 months. Individuals that have multiple of anonymous partners should be screen more frequently, approximately every 3 to 6 months. “While antiviral treatment may control recurring herpes in some people, disease prevention and, where possible, vaccine development and deployment are priorities in the absence of curative interventions.” (Low, Broutet, Turner 2017) The incidence and prevalence can be reduced by primary prevention. Some examples of primary prevention include education, information packets, vaccines, campaigns, screening, checking vulnerable groups, and targeted intervention with the population at high risk. Unfortunately, effective ways for the implementation of the current tools and devising new strategies for the future is the challenge.There are various social, behavioral and cultural factors associated with sexually transmitted diseases. The social factors associated with STDs are low educational level, marital status, peer group influence and social separation. Currently, it is estimated that approximately 131 million people are infected with chlamydia, 78 million with gonorrhea and 5.6 million with syphilis. Some behavioral factors associated with STDs are unprotected sex, substance abuse (drugs and alcohol), mental illness, age of first intercourse, trading sex for money, demographic attributes and social isolation. “In addition, the committee summarizes the potential impact of