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Healthwatch
Sexually Transmitted Infections: What Parents Need To Be Sure Their Teens Know
~4.0 mins read

A conceptual drawing of a kiss showing two young people from below the knees, one on tiptoes in untied red sneakers and cropped pants, one in black sneakers

It's never easy for parents to talk to their teens about having sex. Many parents feel that talking about it is the same as condoning it, so they are hesitant to do so. But according to the most recent Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), a national survey of high school students, by the end of high school 30% have had sex.

It can be impossible to know for sure if your teen has had sex. Even if they haven't, it's likely that at some point they will — and they need to have information to help keep themselves safe and healthy.

What parents should know about sexually transmitted infections

Sexually transmitted infections, or STIs, are very common. They may be caused by bacteria, viruses, or other microorganisms, and spread through all kinds of sex. While most STIs are treatable, they can affect fertility in both women and men, can cause health problems for a baby during pregnancy, and can sometimes lead to lifelong infection or serious complications. That's why teens need to know about them.

Below are the high-level facts about some of the most common infections: what causes them, what symptoms may occur, and how they are treated.

Chlamydia

Chlamydia is the most frequently reported bacterial STI in the United States — but just as many cases are asymptomatic, so the numbers may be higher than we realize.

Symptoms, if they are present, can include discharge from the vagina or penis, pain with urination, or pain and swelling of the testicles (this is rare). A test of the urine (or a swab from the affected area) can diagnose it, and it is curable with antibiotics. If left untreated it can lead to infertility, more commonly in women than men.

Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is another STI caused by a bacteria, and it can also be asymptomatic. When symptoms occur, they are very similar to chlamydia. Gonorrhea also can cause infertility in both women and men. While it is treatable, some infections have been resistant to the usual antibiotics used, so additional testing and treatment is sometimes needed.

Trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis is caused by a protozoa. It is another STI that can be asymptomatic. When there are symptoms, they are usually itch, irritation, and discharge. It is curable with medication.

Syphilis

Syphilis has been on the rise. In the first stage of infection there is usually a firm, round, painless sore where the infection entered the body. The sore is generally there for three to six weeks, but as it is painless it may go unnoticed.

In the second stage there is a more extensive rash, though it can be faint and go unnoticed, along with general feelings of illness such as fever, sore throat, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, or weight loss.

If syphilis still goes unnoticed it can linger in the body for years, sometimes affecting organ systems, including the brain. It is curable with antibiotics, but if found late the damage it can do may be permanent. This infection can be very serious during pregnancy.

HSV

HSV (herpes simplex virus) causes blistering sores. There is both oral herpes (mouth sores) and genital herpes. Oral herpes, caused by HSV1, is not usually caused by sex — but it can lead to genital herpes through oral sex. Genital herpes is more commonly caused by HSV2.

The sores of herpes can recur throughout life. There is no cure for herpes, but there are medications that can shorten or prevent outbreaks. This infection can be particularly dangerous during pregnancy, although the risks can be managed with good prenatal care.

HPV

HPV (human papilloma virus) is the most common sexually transmitted infection. It can be transmitted even by close skin-to-skin touch, and infections are generally asymptomatic.

Most cases of HPV (90%) get better by themselves — but if they don't, over time the virus can cause genital warts or certain cancers. Luckily, there is an effective vaccine to prevent HPV that can be given starting at age 9.

HIV

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is more common among people who have other STIs — mostly because having STIs is a sign of risky sexual behavior. It can be very hard to know if a person has it, because the early symptoms can feel like having the flu, and then people can move into a long period of time of having no symptoms at all.

While there is no cure for HIV, there are medications to control it, as well as medications that can prevent it.

Talking to teens about preventing STIs

All of this sounds scary. But there are actually some simple things teens can do to prevent infections or minimize complications, which is why parents need to talk with them.

Teens can:

  • Use condoms every single time they have sex — and use them properly. According to the report mentioned above, about half of sexually active high schoolers don't use condoms regularly.
  • Limit their number of sexual partners — and have frank conversations with those partners before having sex. Asking about sexual history, and getting testing before starting a sexual relationship, can make a difference.
  • Get tested regularly. Sexually active teens should be tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia every year, or more frequently based on their sexual history or symptoms. Testing for other infections may be a good idea too. In the YRBS, 95% of high schoolers had not been tested for STIs in the past year, which is frightening given that nearly a third report being sexually active.
  • Make sure your teen sees their doctor regularly. And encourage them to be honest with their doctor during their visits. As a parent, you can help by giving your teen confidential time alone with the doctor.

    Source: Harvard Health Publishing

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    Instablog9ja
    How I Slept Off And Missed My Own Bachelor’s Eve — Newly Married Reality TV Star, Leo Dasilva.
    ~0.4 mins read

    Reality TV star, Leo Da Silva, says he slept off on his Bachelor’s eve which he planned himself last week.

    In a post shared on his X handle this morning, June 12, Leo wrote;

    ‘’I can’t believe I organized Bachelors eve for myself and my boys, I picked time and location.

    Then I slept off. They tried waking me up but I would not get up.

    Everyone went there to enjoy  except me, the organizer.

    Is this old age?”

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    Investopedia
    Biden Administration Proposes Wiping Medical Debt From Credit Records
    ~1.8 mins read

    If you have medical debt on your credit report, pretty soon, you won’t, under a new rule proposed by President Joe Biden’s administration.

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) put forward a rule Tuesday barring any medical debt from appearing on credit reports, a move that would affect some 15 million people, according to the bureau. The rule, if finalized despite opposition from debt collectors, would go into effect early next year, bureau officials said on a conference call with reporters.The rule, first announced last September, would wipe away old medical debt from the reports and ban the reporting of new debt, raising credit scores and making it easier for people to access mortgages, business loans, and other credit. The three major credit bureaus already have voluntarily taken medical debts under $500 from credit reports, so the new rule would affect the remaining, larger balances.“Usually, medical debt is the result of a medical emergency, an unplanned, unexpected expense, often of tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Vice President Kamala Harris said on a conference call with reporters. “No one should be denied access to economic opportunity simply because they experience a medical emergency.”

    Harris referred to previous bureau research showing that much medical debt on credit reports is erroneous—often the result of failures to navigate the confusing system of insurance and reimbursement of medical bills—and that it does a worse job than other kinds of debt at informing lenders about who will and won’t pay back their loans.People affected by the change will have their credit scores increase by an average of 20 points, the bureau said, resulting in 22,000 additional mortgages being approved each year, the bureau said.On top of banning medical debt, the rule would ban collectors from repossessing wheelchairs and prosthetic limbs used as collateral.ACA International, a trade group representing debt collectors, opposes the rule change, saying it would hurt the ability of doctors and other health-care providers to be paid for the services they provide. 

    “It is unfortunate that the CFPB and the White House are not considering the hosts of consequences that will result if medical providers are singled out in their billing compared to other professions or industries,” the ACA said in a statement last September after announcement of the CFPB medical-debt removal proposal.

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    Investopedia
    US Imports Expected To Hit Two-Year High In Good Sign For Consumer Spending
    ~1.9 mins read

    Monthly cargo imports are expected to hit their highest levels in two years, showing that supply chains appear strong as retailers prepare to boost sales.

    The Global Port Tracker, a supply chain measurement from the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates, showed that port cargo volume in the U.S. was more than 13% higher in April than in the year-earlier month. In May, volume is estimated to have risen 8% from a year ago to its highest monthly total since August 2022

    Moreover, cargo volumes are expected to continue to grow throughout the summer, with June’s totals expected to be higher by 15% year-over-year. 

    “The high level of imports expected over the next several months is an encouraging sign that retailers are confident in strong sales throughout the remainder of the year,” said Jonathan Gold, NRF vice president for supply chain and customs policy. 

    There have been some fears that supply chains could be tightening due to outside factors, with economists at Wells Fargo noting that worries over the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore have elevated these concerns, along with attacks on shipping in the Red Sea.

    One reason the shipments keep coming is that retailers anticipate continued strong sales, with the NRF forecasting growth of between 2.5% and 3.5% in 2024.

    Another is the “peak season” for shopping is getting stretched out, as consumer spending trends are forcing retailers to keep more items in stock, said Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett.

    “Reasons range from retailers restocking following strong sales after the pandemic to trying to get ahead of increased tariffs on goods from China set to take effect in August and ensuring sufficient inventories for the holiday season amid strong consumer demand,” Hackett said. 

    This could be a good sign for the broader economy as consumer spending has seemingly lagged as of late. Shoppers have buoyed the economy during the recovery from the pandemic-related economic slowdown in 2020 but recent data showed the trend could be reversing. Retailers stocking up could be a sign that retailers do not foresee a sustained slowdown in consumer spending, and in turn, the broader economy.

    Do you have a news tip for Investopedia reporters? Please email us at tips@investopedia.com

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    Investopedia
    Starbucks Joins 'Value Meal' Trend With Lower-Priced Offers
    ~1.1 mins read

    Starbucks (SBUX) has become the latest chain to join the "value meal" trend with the launch of lower-priced offers in an effort to bring in consumers feeling the pressure of inflation.

    The coffee chain announced a “Pairings Menu,” which allows customers to order a drink and food item for a lower joint price than the selections might cost if purchased separately. For example, options include a coffee or tea with a buttered croissant starting at $5, or a beverage with a breakfast sandwich starting at $6. Adjustments or additions to the menu could cost extra.

    The Pairings Menu rollout comes after Starbucks reported quarterly earnings and revenue that fell short of estimates, and same-store sales declined. Starbucks CEO Laxman Narasimhan said that “many customers have been more exacting about where and how they choose to spend their money” because of current economic conditions. 

    McDonald's (MCD), Restaurant Brands International’s (QSR) Burger King, and Wendy’s (WEN) also recently announced value menu items as inflation has led many consumers to pull back on spending.

    Shares of Starbucks were 2% lower at $79.92 as of 3:15 p.m. ET Tuesday, and have lost close to 17% since the start of the year.

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    Instablog9ja
    Lawyer Reveals A Foolproof Way To Know If A Man Is Pøør.
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    A lady lawyer has revealed that there is a way a man will go over the top in expressing his affection for a woman, that should make her suspect that he is broke.

    According to her, an excessive display of affection by a towards a woman is an indication that he might be financially poor.

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