Teenagers, young adults, and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)

Teenagers (adolescents) and young adults are at higher risk of getting a sexually transmitted disease (STD) for several reasons. Teens are more likely to:

  • Have many sex partners.
  • Have unprotected sexual intercourse.
  • Have more than one sex partner at a time.
  • Not talk about safe sex practices with sex partners.
  • Not understand the concern about STDs and how they are transmitted.
  • Not be prepared or understand how to use protective measures to prevent STDs.
  • Not know their bodies well enough to be aware of symptoms that may indicate STDs.
  • Not seek medical care for STD symptoms.
  • Not have access to treatment or be able to afford treatment.
  • Use alcohol and drugs and have sex. Drugs and alcohol impair judgment and make unsafe sex more likely.

Last Updated: July 22, 2008

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