Thursday, February 22, 2018
Features and More

Young adults' sexual practices boost risk for STDs

Charlotte Sutton I Health and medicine editor

Terry Tomalin I Outdoors/fitness editor

Brittany Volk I Designer

Eve Edelheit I Cover photo

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Young, SEXY, AT RISK

Most young adults are in the best health of their lives. But there's one bad-health category the 15- to 24-year-olds dominate: sexually transmitted diseases.

In fact, they account for nearly half of the 19 million new STDs every year in the United States.

That's why health experts recommend that all young adults who are sexually active receive regular screenings for STDs.

If you don't have a doctor you see regularly, contact your local health department, which provides fast, affordable and confidential testing.

Not convinced yet? Consider more facts from the Florida Department of Health.

One out of every four sexually active teens has an STD, and one in two sexually active youth will contract a sexually transmitted infection by age 25.

For females, more cases of syphilis were reported between the ages of 15 and 24 than any other age group in Florida.

• Eighteen percent of all new HIV diagnoses are among young people ages 13 to 24.

Floridians ages 15 to 24 were 13 percent of the state's population in 2011, but accounted for 70 percent of reported cases of chlamydia infections.

• Forty percent of older adolescents surveyed believe that contraceptive pills and shots protect against STDs and HIV. They don't.

Some young people consider oral and anal sex to be abstinent behaviors, but they're proven ways to get an STD.

WOMEN'S PELVIC HEALTH DEMYSTIFIED

Florida Hospital in Tampa is bringing back a popular seminar where women can get answers to some of the most intimate questions imaginable. "Get Your Groove Back, '' on May 16, will have experts talking about pelvic health issues including menopause, heavy periods, urinary incontinence and boosting libido. It's free, but you'll need to register. Go to FHTampa.org/spiritofwomen or call (877) 482-4362.

LEARN ABOUT WILLIAMS SYNDROME

Williams syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects at least 20,000 Americans, yet many people — even some doctors — know little or nothing about it. People with Williams may have serious heart problems, developmental delays and learning disabilities. They also can have extraordinary talents, especially verbal and musical abilities. And they are known for being wonderfully social. Get to know more about Williams syndrome at a family fun day and walk to raise awareness, May 11 at Demen's Landing in St. Petersburg, with the party starting at 8:30 a.m., and the walk at 11 a.m. For more information, call (727) 424-0101 or go to www.walk4williams.org.

A FEW CARBS AT DINNER MAY HELP WEIGHT LOSS

One of the most common diet tips may turn out to be completely untrue, new research is finding. Eating carbs at night isn't necessarily a dietary disaster. A study in the journal Obesity found that people who followed a low-calorie diet with carbohydrates eaten mostly at dinner had higher levels of leptin, a hormone associated with feelings of satisfaction, than dieters who did not. Those who ate the carbs lost more weight. But a caution: one serving is the equivalent of a cup of whole-wheat pasta — not a gigantic restaurant portion.

GET CHECKED, IT'S MELANOMA MONDAY

If you've been meaning to get checked for skin cancer, don't miss Monday — Melanoma Monday, to be precise.

USF Health's Department of Dermatology is offering free screenings from 5 to 8 p.m. at its office on the Tampa campus. First come, first served. Visit www.USFdermatology.com for information.

Morton Plant Mease physicians and other health care practitioners will also offer screenings. Registration is required. Free. 8 a.m., Morton Plant Hospital Complex (Cheek-Powell Pavilion), 455 Pinellas St., Clearwater. (727) 953-6877. www.mpmhealth.com

Bay Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery offers free skin cancer screenings. Appointments required. 3657 Madaca Lane, Tampa. (813) 264-5447.

Florida Hospital North Pinellas offers free skin cancer screenings from 9 a.m. to noon. 1501 Alt. U.S. 19 S, Suite T, Tarpon Springs. Walk-ins are welcome. For more information, call (727) 934-6797.

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