19 million STD cases each year, almost 50% are in people aged 15-24
Chlamydia and gonorrhea are most commonly reported
Syphilis (virtually absent 10 years ago) is on the rise
Despite vaccine, human papillomavirus (HPV) rates increasing in those 18-59
Engaging in risky behaviors (i.e., improper use or no use of contraceptives, multiple sex partners) increases risk for contracting a STD. Although, people who practice "safer" sex may be at an even greater risk as a result of their partners behavior. Researchers report that partner sexual behavior is a bigger predictor of STD risk than individual behavior.
Partner characteristics that increase STD risk:
- Marijuana and alcohol use
- Age difference of 5 years (older or younger)
- History of jail/imprisonment
- Other sexual partners in the past year
- Having an STD in the past year
The more of the above characteristics, the higher risk for STDs. Participants whose partners had all five were 3 times more likely to have an STD. Overall, having an STD and age difference were the biggest predictors of STD risk.
If you practice "safer" sex and are in a monogamous relationship, you may still be at risk, especially if your partner a) falls in the above categories & b) is dishonest about his/her behaviors.
Source: Partner Behavior and STD Risk