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Monday, April 11, 2005

Sex Diseases Threaten Half Young Americans: Studies

WASHINGTON, February 25 (IslamOnline.net) - Half of the youngAmericans would get a sexually-transmitted disease (STD) by the age of25, according to reports released on Tuesday, February 24.
The reports, released jointly by Advocates for Youth -- a non-profit group advocating sex education -- and the sexual health-oriented Alan Guttmacher Institute, collected information from several different publications.
In a report in the latest issue of the Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health journal, the Centers for Disease Control andPrevention (CDC) said that "approximately 18.9 million new cases of STD occurred in 2000, of which 9.1 million (48 percent) were among personsaged 15 to 24."
The institute said on its website that three diseases - human papilloma virus (HPV), trichomoniasis and chlamydia - represent nine in 10 new STD infections among 15-24-year-olds.
The reports argued that the U.S. administration's policy of preferring abstinence-only education has not worked. James Wagoner, President of Advocates for Youth, said in a press release that with STDs "the stakes are just too high to talk only about abstinence" programs.
"Over 27 million people between the ages of 15-24 have had sex, and they need all the facts-including medically accurate information on condoms-to protect their health," he added.
"It is not surprising that teens and young adults contract a disproportionate number of infections," said Sharon Camp of the Alan Guttmacher Institute in a statement.
"Most young people are sexually active, and many are ill equipped to prevent STDs or seek testing and treatment."
Camp said that although abstaining from sexual activity is guaranteed to prevent STDs, some adolescents, and virtually all young adults, will eventually choose to have sex.
"We need to embrace a realistic approach to sex education that includes information about abstinence and condoms because-together-they areour best defense against STDs," said Miriam Szatrowski, 24, a member of a youth panel.
In a fatwa published by IslamOnline, Sheikh Faisal Mawlawi, Deputy Chairman of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, said that "sex education in Islam is a form of imparting religious knowledge to young men or women, for them to be aware of what is required of them in matters of deen [religion] and dunya [life]."
He stressed, however, that "it is not allowed under any pretext to use such sex education to sanction adultery or moral deviation by any means such as naked photos or direct description of sexual practices."

More Costs

New estimates suggest that the direct medical costs associated with a lifetime of treating cases of STD infection diagnosed in young people in 2000 could reach 6.5 billion dollars.
The majority of that cost is due to treatment of HIV and the small percentage of HPV cases that result in cervical abnormalities orgenital warts, Alan Guttmacher Institute said.
In Islam, sexual relations are allowed only among the married couples.Sex outside marriage is not allowed in Islam."If for any reason men or women are not able to marry, then they must observe abstinence. They have no other way," said Muzammil Siddiqi,former president of the Islamic Society of North America.
http://www.islam-online.net/English/News/2004-02/25/article08.shtml

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