Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), also known as sexually transmitted infections (STIs), are infections spread primarily through sexual contact. More than 65 million people in the United States are currently infected with an incurable sexually transmitted disease such as genital herpes, and each year an additional 19 million people develop new cases of one or more of the 25 diseases categorized as STDs. More than half of all these new infections will affect young people ages 15–22. Most personal health STD prevention programs focus largely on individual behavior as the basis for risk reduction. Many of these programs emphasize safer sex or abstinence from sexual intercourse as their preferred preventive approach. Public health STD prevention programs typically emphasize community health interventions such as free and confidential testing and treatment centers, needle exchange programs, and sociomarketing campaigns to promote condom distribution and family planning services. While both approaches have merit, each A ...