Written by Michael Crowe, Multimedia Journalist - email
CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -
Before sending the kids back to school, health officials recommended adding a test to their yearly physicals – for sexually transmitted diseases.
There were more than 13,000 STD cases diagnosed in Iowa in the past year, and data shows that teenagers in Iowa are more susceptible than their older peers.
"For 2013, the IPP data for the state of Iowa shows that the group that had the highest percentage of STDs or STIs would be the group that's 15-19 years of age,” said Heather Meador, a Public Health Nurse for Linn County Public Health.
She also said adding a sexual health test to your back to school list isn’t a bad idea.
"As those teens are going back to school, if they are sexually active, they need to talk to their physicians about that,” she said. “So that they can be tested and they can have those discussions about sexual health."
According to data from the Infertility Prevention Project, 10.8 percent of 15-19 year olds that were tested for Chlamydia tested positive. For 12-14 year olds, it was 7 percent, and for 20-24 year olds it was 8.2 percent.
But Meador said that according to the numbers, for all ages, they see a rise in cases twice a year.
"You start to see a spike in April, and then another spike in early October," she said.
Of course, those spikes can vary by geography.
But in the end, Meador stressed that many STDs show no symptoms, and can have long-term negative effects.
She also said that an awkward conversation is better than losing your fertility.
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