Valentine's Day is a time spread your love. However, it's also an opportunity for the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to remind you about the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
The CDC released a new report revealing the U.S. health care system handles roughly 20 million new cases of sexually transmitted infections each year, costing us $15.6 billion.
According to the report, sexually transmitted illnesses are taking a “severe human and economic burden” on the U.S. Right now, there are 110 million cases in the country, with half of those affecting young adults ages 15 to 24. Those numbers are scary, and costly.
The CDC says, “Because some STIs — especially HIV — require lifelong treatment and care, they are by far the costliest. In addition, HPV is particularly costly due to the expense of treating HPV-related cancers. However, the annual cost of curable STIs is also significant ($742 million). Among these, chlamydia is most common and therefore the most costly."
The CDC recommended that teens and young adults get vaccinated for HPV, saying
"all teen girls and women through age 26 get vaccinated, as well as all teen boys and men through age 21 (and through age 26 for gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men). HPV vaccines are most effective if they are provided before an individual ever has sex."
Gardasil has been linked to thousands of adverse reactions and debilitating side effects, including death in at least 20 cases. Side effects have been rparalysis, convulsions and blindness.
Of course, the way to prevent spreading disease is by practicing safe sex or abstaining from sex.