February 14, 2009
What do you plan to give your valentine this February 14 – a bouquet of flowers, a heart-shaped box of chocolates, a candlelit dinner? Have you considered the gift that keeps on giving — a sexually transmitted infection? STD’s have reached an all time high, mostly because they are being talked about much less. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are infections that result from the transmission of certain bacteria or viruses during physically intimate acts. An STI may or may not result in a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that has noticeable symptoms.
Just in time for this romantic holiday, CCF’s Adina Nack, a sociology professor at California Lutheran University, dispels STI/STD myths, updates us on the facts, and gives practical advice for how to avoid STIs 365 days a year. The idea is that for Valentines Day you can give love and keep your sexual well-being.
As Dr. Nack explains, “It may seem unromantic to raise the issue of STIs on a day that celebrates love and romance. But let’s be realistic: love and romance tend to lead to sex in U.S. society today. And STIs have reached epidemic proportions in America, with 19 million new cases occurring each year. So what are the odds of contracting one of these infections? A 2000 study estimated that a third of Americans had contracted a STI by age 24.”
In a fact sheet prepared for the Council on Contemporary Families, Dr. Nack, author of Damaged Goods? Women Living with Incurable Sexually Transmitted Diseases (Temple University Press, 2008), reviews six myths about sexually transmitted infections by updating readers on the research on topics ranging from “technical virginity” to what “safer sex” does and does not mean. It helps if people understand the critical signs you shouldn’t miss for the sake of making their lives better, after all.
Council on Contemporary Families
The Council on Contemporary Families is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to providing the press and public with the latest research and best-practice findings about American families. Our members include demographers, economists, family therapists, historians, political scientists, psychologists, social workers, sociologists, as well as other family social scientists and practitioners.
Founded in 1996 and now based in the School of Education and Human Development at the University of Miami, the Council’s mission is to enhance the national understanding of how and why contemporary families are changing, what needs and challenges they face, and how these needs can best be met. To fulfill that mission, the Council holds annual conferences, open to the public, and issues periodic briefing papers and fact sheets.