- Don’t be judgmental and condemning — “Come alongside with compassion and mercy.” Dr. David Hager, Ob/Gin and author of “Women at Risk: The Real Truth About Sexually Transmitted Diseases.”
- Offer accountability and encouragement — “The church can help those get back on track by making sure the teen and family are plugged in with people who truly care about them.” Sarah Hughes, Executive Director of the House of Hope in Clayton, N.C.
- Help the teen learn from the mistake and move on — “For the teenager: It doesn’t define you. Focus on who you are in Christ, walk in forgiveness and move forward.” Sarah Hughes
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Ideas for parents of a teen with an STD:
- Make sure proper medical care is received — “The most important thing is to obtain adequate medical care and then discuss ways to avoid repeating the behavior that resulted in the infection.” David Hager
- Keep communication open — “Treat teens with respect and be someone they are not afraid to talk to.” Sarah Hughes
- Work with the parents of the other child — “Talking with the family of the opposite sex child without shaming and blaming is important.” David Hager
- Get help from others — “Counseling is an invaluable resources that can be extremely helpful in dealing with a diagnosis.” Sarah Hughes
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5 key STD-related stats.
- The CDC estimates there are 19 million new STD infections in the US each year.
- Girls aged 15-19 have the highest rates of gonorrhea compared to every other demographic group.
- Every year, 24,000 women in the US become infertile due to an untreated STD.
- Young adults, ages 15-24, comprise only 25 percent of the sexually active population, but they acquire almost half of all new STD infections.
- In 2010, more than 1.3 million cases of chlamydia were reported, the largest number ever for any condition.
SOURCE: Statistics from the CDC’s 2010 Sexually Transmitted Diseases Surveillance report and the National Abstinence Education Association’s Sexual Risk Avoidance Education: Considerations for Protecting Teen Health report.
Aaron Earls is a freelance writer in Wake Forest, N.C. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).
This article comes from Baptist Press. Copyright (c) 2012 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press. Used by permission.