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Free Custom «Sexually Transmitted Infections and Risky Sexual Behaviors in Adolescents and Young Adults» Essay Sample

Free Custom «Sexually Transmitted Infections and Risky Sexual Behaviors in Adolescents and Young Adults» Essay Sample

In the U.S., diverse groups of teenagers engage in risky sexual behaviors leading to unintended health outcomes, as stated by the survey conducted by Centers for Disease Control (CCD) among 2015 associating high school students (CDC, 2017b). In particular, researched data revealed that about forty-one percent of teenagers have engaged in sexual intercourse. The additional information stipulated that thirty percent of them practiced sexual intercourse in the previous three months. Out of these, forty-three percent did not use condoms the last time they had sex, fourteen percent did not use any means of preventing pregnancy, and twenty-one percent got drunk or used drugs before practicing sex. The data from CDC further showed that bisexual, lesbian, and gay students were at a substantial risk of experiencing serious health outcomes. In that regard, there were aspects associated with risky sexual behaviors and sexually transmitted infections among adolescents and young adults (CDC, 2017b). These aspects are known to propel sexual behaviors and the consequential health damages.

Among the major factors that cause irresponsible sexual behaviors resulting in negative health outcomes are depression and substance abuse (Jackson et al., 2015, p. 1). Most students suffer from depression inflicted by peer pressure or exams; therefore, they may resort to consuming drugs, which have the highest chance to influence their negative sexual behaviors. To curb or improve the current situation affecting the teenagers and young adults, the source of the problem needs to be addressed by conducting several types of research on this issue. This will help with coming up with solutions tackling the challenges from the source point rather than the consequences. In this case, it will be helpful to contain depression and use of drugs among the youths rather than to concentrate on treating sexually transmitted infections (Jackson et al., 2015, p. 1). For this reason, researchers have investigated the aspects attached to risky sexual behaviors and sexually transmitted infections, highlighted the significance of the problem, and discussed consequences of not addressing it.

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Depression and Substance Abuse

The analysis by Jackson et al. (2015, p. 1) states depression and substance abuse have some form of coordination where their interaction is linked to negative sexual behavior and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) of the youths. The data by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) also supports this interaction (Recovery First, 2017). Moreover, it claims people with mood disorders like depression are twice likely to abuse substances than those who are not diagnosed with any mental disorder. This could happen to the students who encounter various daily life processes potentially resulting in depression. Some of them include rejection by other students, failing exams, or even punishments by the teachers. Furthermore, according to the research by Jackson et al. (2015), forty percent of the adolescents in the study reported substantive depressive symptoms. This is a huge percentage of teenagers falling under the depression margin.

Jackson et al. (2015) conducted the study on African-American female adolescents aging between fourteen to twenty years. The entire research involved 701 females to measure substance use, depressive symptoms, and sexual behavior at the baseline of six months for the next thirty-six months in Atlanta, Georgia (Jackson et al., 2015). Upon the research, sixty-four percent of the teenagers and the youths confessed to substance use during the ninety days before the assessment. The study also links depression to the unprotected sex, sexual sensation seeking, prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases, and involvement of an incarcerated partner. All these activities were regarded as risky sexual behaviors or their consequences, namely STIs. The probability in the study was indicated by p<.001, meaning the association or link between depression and prevalence of STIs was 99,9% true. Moreover, for the entire period of thirty-six months of the study, the younger adults and teenagers who were reported to be actively involved with the consumption of the substances such as ecstasy, cocaine, marijuana, or alcohol were more likely to get involved with negative sexual behaviors and practices. Finally, the study states that these adolescents had the higher chances of practicing unprotected sex, seeking sexual sensation or even involvement of incarcerated partner (Jackson et al., 2015). The probability in this section was denoted by p>.05, affirming that substance abuse by adolescents had ninety-five percent chance of influencing them into negative sexual behaviors and practices.

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Significance of This Problem

The significance of the problem is echoed by the looming rates of sexually transmitted infections, suicidal events, and unwanted pregnancies of the adolescents across the United States. In accordance to CDC (2017b), the young people aged between thirteen and twenty-four years accounted for twenty-two percent of all the new HIV diagnosis in the U.S. in 2015. Moreover, half of the relative twenty million cases of sexually transmitted diseases reported every year was recorded among young people aging between fifteen and twenty-four years. In a span of 10 years, excluding other factors and considering that the rate of sexually transmitted diseases is constant, about 100 million adolescents will be infected. This is a huge number, and it can increase if relevant authorities do not take an action (CDC, 2017b). Additionally, in 2015, eighty percent of youth diagnosed with HIV were bisexual males and gays. These findings support the claim of irresponsible sexual behaviors influencing the escalation of sexually transmitted diseases.

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On the issue of unwanted pregnancies, CDC (2017c) stipulated that about 230,000 unplanned babies were born to teenagers aged between fifteen and nineteen years in 2015. The birthrate was recorded to be 22,3 per 1,000 women in the claimed age group. This teen pregnancy rate was actually regarded to be substantially higher than in other industrialized western nations. Furthermore, suicidal rates of the teens in the United States increased by thirty-one percent, which was translated to be 14.2 per 100,000 population in 2015 (CDC, 2017a). This rate has been characterized by constant increase, especially to young women, which doubled from 2,4 to 5,1 in 2015.

Consequences of not Addressing the Issue/Problem

Massive repercussions may occur if clear-cut measures are not considered. Consequences may include medical, social, and economic aspects. Economic ones involve financial strain both to the directly or indirectly affected groups, which incorporate the adolescent or young adults, parents, and the government in general. Involved people, either parents or young adults, are bound to incur costs in treating chronic ailments like HIV/AIDs and Gonorrhea, which means that reserves allocated for other developmental requirements have to be used. The federal government will also spend resources. Annual budgeting requires adjustment by the federal government treasury to finance relevant bodies to fight cases related to STIs. This has been confirmed in the recent past by federal government’s attempt in fighting dangerous diseases like HIV/AIDs through scientific researches and initiatives (CDC, 2017b). Usually, incidences of HIV/AIDs infection are associated with socio-economic challenges in areas where patients suffer from poverty. This condition occurs because patients use much money to contain the diseases. Lack of prompt measures will lead to increase in cases of suicide and unplanned pregnancies.

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In summary, risky sexual behaviors influence and enhance spreading of sexually transmitted diseases among the young adults and adolescents. In its turn, depression and drug abuse contribute to youth resorting to the risky sexual behaviors  because they interact with each other if not handled appropriately. Often, individuals with depression automatically abuse substances as a measure to stabilize their mental state. In the process, they may undertake certain irresponsible sexual behaviors, which may scatter their lives. The interrelation between depression, substance abuse, and sexually transmitted infections clearly shows the significance of the issue. If the problem is not addressed properly, the negative consequences are unavoidable. Therefore, depression-related cases should be treated before the consequential damages actually happen.

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