Pub. date: 2004 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952576 | Print ISBN: 9780761923602 | Online ISBN: 9781412952576| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Sexually Transmitted Diseases: Prevention
The American public health system has been reluctant to address sexual health issues openly because of the stigma associated with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). This is embedded in wider cultural taboos about sexual health issues, such as sex education and teen pregnancy prevention. Annually, there are 12 million new cases of STDs, of which 3 million are in adolescents. In fact, among the top 10 diseases subject to mandatory reporting by U.S. authorities in 1995, 5 of them were STDs. The relative estimated incidence of common STDs in 1994 is chlamydia, 4 million; gonorrhea, 800,000; syphilis, 101,000; genital herpes, 200,000 to 500,000; and trichomoniasis, 3 million. However, Americans underestimate their risk for acquiring an STD. In a 1993 survey, 84% of women surveyed were not concerned about acquiring an STD, including 72% of women between 18 and 24 years of age, even though 78% of those women reported having There ...