By now, I'm sure you've seen that one-quarter of teenage girls have some STI. This includes human papillomavirus (HPV), chlamydia, herpes simplex virus, and trichomoniasis. This clearly shows a need for comprehensive sex-ed, although some argue that school is not the right place for that kind of learning.
Because, really, one of the obvious questions is: Why aren't teens having protected sex? And their answers vary. It's not just about STIs, but also teen pregnancy, which we know is just not at all good for teens. While people argue about the root causes of teen pregnancy - poor parenting, lack of values, problems with access to contraception - the end result is still dire. Some would go so far as to look at long-term birth control for teens, involuntarily, it appears; certainly, others would like to see a little more of a social stigma for teen pregnancies, rather than seeing these girls fully accepted into society.
On a related note, a new law has been enacted that makes it a crime to intentionally infect someone with HIV. This is not particularly new, but South Dakota now characterizes this crime as a sex offense.
So really, what's the solution? How do we reduce the incidence of STIs, and keep teen pregnancy down? Expanding the use of Gardasil, and other vaccine products, seems like a good start. Does increasing criminalization of spreading disease help? Do we need more of a stigma on teen pregnancy, or less of one on condoms? What's the answer?