"When we do prenatal care it's common to screen for chlamydia and gonorrhea and do a papsmear and a lot of them come back positive. It's really sad," said Dr. Rima Kittley.
Those cases are just an example of an alarming figure issued in a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control. The report says 9.1 million cases of sexually transmitted disease occurred in people between the ages of 15 and 24 in the year 2000. That's nearly half of all cases reported in the United States...costing these young adults a whopping 6.5 billion dollars in medical bills every year. And Kittley says many people may have an STD and not even know it.
"The guys have it easier in recognizing an STD. They will usually have a burning sensation when they urinate, but women don't have many symptoms until they have severe pelvic pain."
Dr. Kittley says some of those diseases, when left untreated, can have devastating, long-term effects, like infertility. The CDC's report says those who are sexually active need to increase screening and other preventative measures to help curb this alarming trend, but Kittley says there's only one way she knows to be 100 percent safe.
"The only way to be totally safe is through abstinence," said Kittley. "Condoms help some, but there is still a chance of something bad happening."
By taking more pre-cautions, you can reduce your risk of becoming the next statistic.