CondomsWhen Usher crooned “Let it burn,” I don’t think he meant like this.  Just in time for Valentine’s Day a new report was released showing that Americans are on fire, but not in a good way.  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued two new studies of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) today detailing what the lead author Catherine Lindsey Satterwhite calls “an ongoing, severe, STI epidemic.”

The study, which gives new infection data on the eight most common STIs — chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, human papillomavirus (HPV), hepatitis B, HIV, and trichomoniasis, is startling to say the least.  According to the findings in 2008 there were 20 million new incidents of infection in the United States, and a of 110 million, according to CDC estimates, as a result, the United States incurred estimated direct medical costs of nearly $16 billion!

Matthew Golden, the director of Public Health Seattle and King County HIV/STD Program and a professor of medicine at the University of Washington Center for AIDS and STD stated:

“The good news is that rates for most viral and bacterial infections, including HIV, have stabilized or even dropped. The “epidemic” is driven almost entirely by two bugs: HPV, and Chlamydia. Chlamydia, a bacterial infection, is easily curable if it’s diagnosed. And there’s a very effective vaccine for the most dangerous forms of HPV that can trigger cervical, oral, anal, and penile cancers, and cause genital warts. But we have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by not pursuing effective strategies, such as school-based universal access to the HPV vaccine.”

The study also finds that STI prevention and awareness programs are critical in preventing the spread of STIs in addition to safe sex practices.  So before you jump in the sack this Valentine’s Day to work off all that chocolate and loving, let this be a reminder to you to wrap it up and play safe!

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  • The Comment

    Why can’t they invent a STD/STI @ home testing kits? One nite stand or a one hour stand…I think if you give women the power to test themselves and potentials lovers…the rate would go down.

    • Shirl

      That’s a really good idea.

    • Thats what i said when they started marketing that in home HIV test kit. If they can do that, they certainly should be able to get kits out for Herpes, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, etc

  • i think i’ll stay home tonight…

    • The Moon in the Sky

      Otherwise you’d be taking advantage of the Viagra your health insurance covers, right?

  • B

    Another good reason to be a virgin…

    • Wow

      It never last though…….

  • Kay

    I’m not surprised at all. I knew this whole abstinence movement and trying to cut funding to Planned Parenthood and other sexual health programs would eventually bite us in the butt. People will have sex no matter what anyone thinks. We may as well provide a safer way for them to do it as well as give them accurate information about their bodies, sex, and risks. With our backwards thinking it’s no wonder we have the highest rates of STI’s and teen pregnancy in the industrialized world.

    • kelly

      i thought it was from lack of morals and parenting, people know how to protect themselves, they just chose not too