Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) among teens are really common. In fact about half of sexually active teens and young adults will get an STD before their 25th birthday—and many of them will have no idea!
“What you don’t know can’t hurt you?” Right? WRONG!
If left untreated all 3 of these bacterial STDs can cause serious health risks. Most of the time these STDs go unnoticed, they often don’t come with any symptoms, they often go untreated. That is why it is extremely important to get yourself TESTED!
Street Name:“Silent STD”
Bio: Chlamydia is one of the most notorious bacterial STDs out there, infecting 3,000,000 people in the United States each year. In 2015 in California, there were 189,170 reported cases. It earned its street name “Silent STD” because most people who have it don’t have any symptoms. Chlamydia may be silent, but it is NOT deadly. Chlamydia comes around when bacteria (a kind of germ) is present in your vagina, penis, anus, or mouth. It LOVES when you do not use barrier methods like condoms or dental dams because it allows the infection to spread and infect others. If Chlamydia does decide to show itself, the symptoms might look like: unusual discharge, burning and pain when peeing, and for women, possible bleeding between periods and before or during sex.
Chlamydia can be treated and cured with a full dose of prescribed antibiotics from a medical provider.
Street Names: “The Clap” “The Clapper” “The Drip”
Bio: In 2015 in California there were 54,135 reported cases of Gonorrhea anda total of 395,216 cases in the U.S. It earned it street name “The Drip,” after the dripping discharge commonly associated with the infection. Some of you may be familiar with the other nicknames “The Clap” and “The Clapper” from friends and school. Gonorrhea thrives off of a certain type of bacteria. It loves to infect the penis or vagina, but can also infect the rectum, throat, or eyes. Just like Chlamydia, Gonorrhea LOVES when you don’t use protective barriers (condoms or dental dams). It allows for the bacteria to spread from someone who is infected during all types of sex, including oral, vaginal, and anal sex. Gonorrhea likes to stay mysterious and doesn’t show symptoms too often. When it does show itself, men are more likely to have symptoms than women. Men might experience burning when they pee, a white, yellow, or green discharge from the penis, or painful, swollen testicles. A few women have pain when they pee or pain in their lower abdomen.
Gonorrhea is treated with the help of a medical provider who may need to administer a shot and prescribe pills.
Street Names:“The Great Imitator”
Bio: Syphilis is one of the oldest and most infamous STDs in history. Syphilis cases are also on the rise, in 2015 alone, California reported 14,450 cases. In 2015 there were a total of 74,702 cases reported in the U.S., 11,249 MORE than the previous year. Syphilis earned the street name “The Great Imitator” because it used to imitate the symptoms of others diseases. Syphilis is caused by a kind of bacteria. It likes to make its way into your life by causing painless sores (called chancres) or rashes on the skin. It spreads by skin to skin contact and having unprotected oral, vaginal, or anal sex. Syphilis is tricky in the sense that the painless sores can heal on their own, but unless you get treated, you still have the infection. If the infection does show symptoms they can be very mild such as, rash, fever, sore throat, and headaches.
Syphilis is treated with the help of a medical provider who will need to prescribe medication.
What do all these STDs have in common?
They are all bacterial STD’s, which means they can be curable! They may be notorious for being a real pain in the “you know what”, but if treated by a medical provider correctly they will GO AWAY! Because most of these annoying STDs show no symptoms it is crucial that you get tested to protect yourself & others.
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This blog was reposted from TeenSource.org, a project of Essential Access Health. TeenSource.org is an online hub for comprehensive and teen-friendly information on birth control, STDs, relationships and teen’s rights to accessing sensitive services. The site features youth-developed blogs and videos, a clinic finder, a Condom Access Project and links to TeenSource social media where youth can stay updated on relevant sexual and reproductive health information and news.
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