Despite increased awareness about the symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases and prevention methods, such infections remain a serious public health problem in industrialized countries especially the United States. The rate of STDs remains significantly high and incurs billions of dollars of healthcare costs each year, according to data recently released by the United States Centers for Disease Control.
About 110 million incidences of STD infection were reported among Americans in 2008; it cost $16 billion that year to treat curable infections and alleviate symptoms of incurable STDs. People ages 15 to 24 comprise only about 25 percent of the sexually active American population, but this age group holds about 50 percent of the number of STD infections nationwide.
Fortunately, HIV infections have significantly dropped among all age groups in the United States and other industrialized countries. However, CDC officials are concerned that not enough sexually active people take seriously the potential consequences of other STDs such as Chlamydia and HPV. Untreated HPV is a major cause of cervical, penile, oral, and anal cancers Nowadays HPV can be prevented with a simple vaccination, but not enough people are taking advantage of the vaccine. HPV is now the most prevalent STD in the United States, with an estimated 14 million new infections each year. Boys and girls should get the vaccine once they are 11 years old, but only about one-third of them are actually getting vaccinated. Abstinence-only sex education may be a key cause of the failure to get vaccinated. However, this has only led to a spike in HPV-related cancers in recent years.