When you are sexually active, pregnancy is usually the greatest concern.  You may be afraid of what your parents or boyfriend will do if you become pregnant.  You may also be concerned that you will not be able to finish school or pursue your career.  While pregnancy is something to be very concerned about, sexually transmitted infections are equally, if not more, worrisome.  You are at risk for pregnancy if you have sex around ovulation (about 3 days a month), but you are at risk for getting an STI every time you have sex.

The Basics

There are now more than a dozen STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections), several of which are chronic, life-long infections.  In the United States, it is estimated that there are 19 million new infections each year – over half of these occurring in young people, ages 15-24.  Presently, over 70 million people in the U.S. are infected, or have been infected with an STI or STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease).