(Moody Broadcasting Network, 2013)
The numbers are in – and they are not good. The Centers for Disease Control recently released a report stating there were more than 110 million sexually transmitted infections among men and women nationwide as of 2008. That's 110 million lives impacted forever.
The CDC data reveals that the Human Papillomavirus or HPV accounts for the majority of the STIs in the United States. There is no treatment for the virus and the infection sometimes leads to cervical cancer. In a rather dismissive way, the government report states that "most sexually active men and women will get HPV at some point in their lives."
Incredible, the federal government is simply raising the white flag of surrender and promoting the notion that "everyone is at risk." Their solution? Vaccinate children as young as 11 or 12 and keep vaccinating until they reach their mid-twenties.
But it gets worse. The CDC report also says that nearly one-quarter of all prevalent infections can cause potentially severe health consequences. HSV-2 is one disease that can lead to painful chronic infection, miscarriage or premature birth and fatal infection in newborns. HBV can cause life-threatening liver disease and HIV damages a person's immune system, causing increased susceptibility to a more diseases. Eighteen thousand people die with AIDS each year in America.
What is particularly tragic is that the CDC estimated in 2008 there were more than 19.7 million new STIs in the United States and young people, between the ages of 15 and 24, made up more than half of those nearly twenty million cases. Left undiagnosed and untreated, many of those STIs will increase the chances of chronic pelvic pain, life-threatening ectopic pregnancy and potential infertility.
So what does sexual promiscuity cost us financially? According to the CDC, the tab comes in around $16 billion annually in direct medical costs. They also point out that some infections, like HIV, require lifelong care, adding to the economic strain. The annual cost of "curable" STIs is a whopping $742 million.
Here is where the government and I part company. The solutions recommended by the CDC are annual testing and screening, limiting the number of sexual partners, using a condom correctly and, oh yes, abstaining from sex. But that last part gets lost in the fog of political agendas like promoting same-sex marriage, early "comprehensive" sex education, (like starting in kindergarten) and abortion on demand.
The cure to this blight on both our national soul and our national budget can be found by applying the truth of God's word, like a healing balm, to our lives and to our decisions about sexual activity. We are told to "flee youthful lusts," not because God is some cosmic killjoy but because He loves us and longs to protect us from bad choices with painful consequences.
We don't need more sex education or more vaccinations to reduce the epidemic of STIs. What we need is individual purity – an old fashioned word that won't cost the government a cent but could be worth millions.