Summary: Half of New STD Cases
From Teens and Young Adults
One out of two youth will acquire an STD before the age of 25.
In an article written by the School of Journalism
and Mass Communication (University of North Carolina at Chapel
Hill), a panel of national experts assessed what is known about the
number of STD cases in young Americans. It also defined the economic
and emotional impact of these infections. Recent estimates show that
nearly half of new STD cases are among people ages 15-24, even
though these youth make up only a quarter of the sexually active
population. Half of new HIV infections occur among youth ages 15-24.
One out of two youth will acquire an STD before the age of 25. The
lifetime medical costs of STDs acquired by youth in 2000 are
projected to be at least $6.5 billion. In this article, a panel of
concerned young people from across the country provided a youth
perspective and possible solutions to this growing epidemic. Most of
all, panel members say, youth need ongoing conversations with
parents, teachers, health care providers, policy makers, and other
youth about sexual behaviors and subsequent risks.1
Voices, Our Lives, Our Futures: Youth and Sexually Transmitted
of Journalism and Mass Communication (University of North Carolina
at Chapel Hill), February 2004, pp. 1-25.