Casual Sex: Is it Worth the Risk?

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Casual Sex Cover ArtHe spies her across the room. She is hot! He makes his move and she rewards him with a sexy smile. After a few hours of conversation they end up in bed having mad, passionate sex. The next morning both go on their way, fulfilled and happy.

Flip the dial to any program on T.V., any time of the day or night and you will see some variation of this scene. Sex is presented as a fun time with no consequences, no risk and no heartache. Only in Hollywood can they create a reality that is so far from the truth! When people recreate the scene in the real world, they can be left with a lot more than a memory.

Lets take this scene and write some possible real life endings.

... After a few hours of conversation they end up in bed having mad, passionate sex.

Six months later:

She is getting ready for work and she has painful urination and a pus-like discharge. She also feels pain in her pelvis.

Eight months later:

She gets out of bed and doubles over with pain she can no longer ignore. Embarrassed to face her family doctor, she goes to a clinic and finds she has gonorrhea. The doctor puts her on antibiotics and it clears up. She forgets about it.

Four years later:

Our star has now found the man of her dreams. They wanted children right away and had excitedly decorated the nursery, sure that they would soon hold their cooing baby. She is now coming out of the doctor’s office weeping. She has just learned that there will be no children for them. The gonorrhea she contracted had damaged her fallopian tubes and she is sterile. She doesn’t even remember his name, but she will live with the sorrow the rest of her life.

Hey, what happened to the happy ending? OK. Let’s try again.

... After a few hours of conversation they end up in bed having mad, passionate sex.

Ten months later:

He just lost a racquet ball game. He has been feeling tired and achy for a few days. "Must be the flu" he reasons. Then his mind wanders back to the great night he had last week ..."what was her name?"

One year later:

He needs to see a doctor. This flu has hung on forever and he can’t seem to shake it. He makes an appointment for tomorrow.

The next day, he listens to the doctor in disbelief. How could he have symptoms of AIDS? He had used a condom with all of his partners. The doctor explains that condoms cannot guarantee protection against any STD, not even AIDS. Why hadn’t he been told that?

Two years later:

Our star is now lying in bed staring out the window. His eyes wander to his hands and he thinks about how they used to be so strong, swinging a racquet with swift precision. Now, he wonders if they could even pick one up. He doesn’t know for sure which of his partners gave him HIV. He wonders how many women he passed it on to.

These are not happy endings like on T.V. but they are the real life consequences of casual sex.

Gonorrhea and AIDS aren’t the only risks. Aside from the broken hearts and emotional damage, the following are some of the major STD’s that you risk contracting when you engage in sex.

Chlamydia

This is the most common cause of sterility in men and women because it usually has no symptoms until it’s too late. There are more than 900,000 new cases reported annually, but the true number is thought to be much higher. Almost half of the people infected are 15-24 years old. If not treated, the infection can cause a potentially deadly infection in women called pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) 10 to 40% of the time.

Syphilis

In men, non-painful sores appear on genitals, then fever and enlarged lymph nodes. In women, the sores usually go unnoticed and lead to the same symptoms as men. The final stage brings brain disorders, heart disease and death. Eighty percent are not aware they are infected in the first stage. New cases annually in the U.S.: 33,400.

Genital Herpes

This incurable disorder brings periodic eruption of painful blisters and ulcers. New cases annually in the U.S.: 1,000,000. At least 45,000,000 people ages 12 and older have had genital herpes infection.

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)

 - In men, wart-like genital growths appear which can lead to cancer of the penis. In women the virus can cause vulvar burning, itching and pain. If not treated, it can develop into cancer. Twenty million cases and over 100 different strains exist today. Thirty three percent of women have this virus. New cases annually: 6.2 million in the U.S. alone.

Hepatitis B

Initially, tiredness, dark urine and a grey-colored stool occur. It can cause severe liver damage and lead to cirrhosis and cancer of the liver. Forty to fifty percent of the children born to infected mothers develop liver cancer. About 5,000 people die per year in the U.S. of Hepatitis B. Estimated new infections in 2004: 60,000.

If you think you can't get any of these... think again!

How do you KNOW your partner does not have an STD? Eighty percent of the infected don’t know they have it!

How do you know your partner is telling you the truth about their sexual history? People lie for sex.

How do you know your condom will protect you? The Centers for Disease Control at a meeting on June 12, 2000, found condoms only partially effective for only one STD. There are 25 common STDs and 19 million new STD infections in the U.S. every year.

How do you know it won’t happen to you? 1 in 5 Americans are infected with some form of STD.

How will your story end? There is only one way to know for sure ...

Save sex for marriage. Then you will know for sure that your story will have a happy ending!

Sources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention, Divisions of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Workshop Summary: Scientific Evidence on Condom Effectiveness for Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Prevention June 12-13, 2000, found at: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/dmid/stds/condomreport.pdf, accessed 6-15-06 (a review of 138 scientific studies concerning condom effectiveness published July 20, 2001.)

Disease information: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Fact Sheets found at: http://www.cdc.gov/std/HealthComm/fact_sheets.htm, accessed on 6-15-06.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Viral Hepatitis B, Fact Sheet, May 1, 2006, found at: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/hepatitis/b/fact.htm, accessed 6-15-06.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance, 2004. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, September 2005.