You may be wondering why ‘The Vegan Mom’ is blogging about a topic such as this. Normally I’m posting about a recipe or a great product or some other vegan issue. So what on earth does ‘sexual health awareness’ have to do with veganism?
Let me start by saying that I’m a mom of a college aged child as well as a middle schooler and some little ones as well. I don’t live under a rock. I know that sexual health is an important topic and it absolutely needs to be addressed.
The Center For Disease Control (CDC) estimates that in The United States, 19 million new yearly cases of STD’s are reported. That’s a staggering statistic. What’s even scarier? Almost half of them are young people ages 15-24. And worldwide… more than 50% of people will become infected with an STD.
Unfortunately women are more prone to STD’s due to their anatomy. Most STD’s are treatable but not curable. Some STD’s have little or no symptoms, making people more likely to spread their disease to others. HIV can take up to a decade to develop symptoms.
STD’s can cause many health problems including Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, liver disease, infertility and cancer. Some STD’s can even be passed from mother to baby during or after birth.
What can parents do to protect their children? Of course abstinence is best. But it’s safe to assume that most teens and young adults will end up having sex. So information is vital. Explain to your kids the importance of safe sex. It can save their life. It can save many lives. Don’t assume your children already know the dangers of unprotected sex. Do not assume they learned about it at school or from friends. We owe it to our children to keep them safe in every way possible. Our parental love and protection does not end when our kids go to high school or college. We need to be proactive.
Check out KidsHealth.org for help talking to your child about STD’s and safe sex
Visit STDCheck for confidential STD tests