Real Alternatives puts women dealing with unexpected pregnancies in touch with helpful programs and services. In addition to unplanned pregnancy, Real Alternatives operates in areas related to sexual health and STD prevention.
Unexpected pregnancy is not the only reason to refrain from sexual intercourse at a young age, or at any time outside of a committed, trusting relationship. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are another serious consequence to consider. In recent years, STDs have reached epidemic levels in the United States, with more than 20 unique infectious diseases impacting over 20 million American men and women. Every year, the US government addresses the effects of STDs with response efforts in excess of $16 billion.
Knowledge and prevention represent an individual’s two strongest weapons against STDs, which can be contracted by any sexually active individual. Age, gender, race, economic background, and other identifying characteristics have nothing to do with contracting an STD. That said, certain populations are more at risk than others. More than 66 percent of STD cases in America are found in individuals under the age of 25, for example.
Sexually active individuals must be highly vigilant in regard to the symptoms of a possible STD. In many cases, particularly in women, the symptoms do not show immediately. In some cases, a disease may lie dormant for years at a time. Even when there are no symptoms, the disease can be transmitted.
There are a number of ways to mitigate the chances of contracting an STD, but abstaining from sexual intercourse is the only way to completely prevent the chances of infection.