Column: Sexually transmitted infections deserve attention

April is Sexually Transmitted Disease Awareness Month as designated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Normally the dawning of spring brings thoughts of new life and our tendency may be to ignore an issue such as sexually transmitted diseases, or more accurately, sexually transmitted infections.

However, this is an absolutely crucial topic to address, as it is estimated that there are more than 110 million total sexually transmitted infections among men and women nationwide. The CDC estimates that nearly 20 million new such infections will be diagnosed this year alone.

This means approximately one in four Americans are affected by sexually transmitted infections. Unfortunately, although young people (ages 15 to 24) account for only 25 percent of the sexually active population, they also account for approximately 50 percent of all newly diagnosed sexually transmitted infections.

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