Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD's)

  • Sexually transmitted infections (STI) include: chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and human immunodeficiency virus.

  • STD’s are being spread to children by child molesters.  
  • Having sex with anyone younger than 16 can lead to a charge of statutory rape.  The age of consent (age at which it is legal to have sex) in the state of Washington is 16.  The age of consent is 17 or 18 in many other states—and no states are lower than 16.  
  • The rate of STIs in Spokane County significantly increased from 385 per 100,000 in 2009 to 498 per 100,000 in 2013.  Spokane County’s STI rate was significantly higher than the state’s rate in 2013 (438 per 100,000).  Contracting an STI was more likely among adults 18-34 years of age and females.  In 2013 in Spokane County, the rate of hospitalizations due to a drug-resistant organism was 90 per 100,000 population. This was significantly higher than Washington state (74 per 100,000). The rate remained stable from 2009 to 2013. Having a drug-resistant infection increased as age increased and was more likely among whites.  (Spokane Counts 2015, page 11, Spokane Regional Health District)

  • The CDC calls STD’s a hidden epidemic.  18 million Americans get a new STD every year, and 2/3 of them are under the age of 25, representing 8-10,000 teens per day.  About 25% of American teens say they have had sex before the age of 16.  (CDC).  This is an alarming, disproportionate statistic among our youth.
  • Young people ages 15 to 24 represent just 25% of the sexually active population, but they also represented almost 50% of new STD cases that year.   (2006 CDC Surveillance Report)  
  • STD’s are being spread to children by child molesters.  In 2003, more than 6,500 STD’s were reported among Washington’s youth ages 10-19.  Child molesters may not kill their victims; however, molesters who are infected with HIV/AIDS do inflict a death sentence upon the child.    
  • l in 4 teen girls in the U.S. has at least one Sexually Transmitted Disease (such as, HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea, HPV, Chlamydia, trichomoniasis, herpes) and 18% have HPV.  Many may not know they have a disease or that they are passing it to their sex partners.  In addition, these girls are at risk for the serious health effects of untreated STD’s, including infertility and cervical cancer.  (The Center for Disease Control)   

  • The CDC estimates that nearly 20 million new sexually transmitted infections occur every year in this country, half among young people ages 15-24.  Some are incurable, although all are treatable.  (CDC Fact Sheet, 2013 National Data for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Syphilis) 

What Parents Can Do
  • Remember—you have a great influence on your children.  Study the critical information available on STD’s, and teach your children accordingly.  The average age of a girl’s first sexual intercourse is age 15.
  • Teach your children values at a very young age, and set limits which will make them feel loved and secure.  Be honest with your children about your feelings about pre-marital sex.
  • Develop a good relationship with each of your children from an early age.  
  • Studies show that youth who are sexually promiscuous are generally speaking not as well-adjusted as those who are not sexually active.  
  • Remove media from your home where the language and images are very sexual, provocative, and also degrading to women.
  • Review all of the books your children are reading in school—and discuss with your children the sexual material therein. 
Local Organizations