Posted by: JennyRain | March 15, 2010

Who is Protecting your teens from the alarming truth?

I heard a broadcast this morning that floored me.

It was about the devastating impact casual sex is having on today’s teens. To listen to the broadcast in its entirety, go to the Family Life Today website.

The most impacting story to me was about the impact an STD had on one unsuspecting couple almost a decade later. Dr. Meg Meeker discusses below what happened.

Dr. Meeker:  I had delivered a baby to a 27 year old couple, lovely couple; and the second day of life the baby began having seizures, a very healthy baby, and I asked mom and dad what ?…. “Did you take any drugs, did you smoke anything?”  The mom said, “No, I swear up and down nothing was wrong, I had no infections.” 

We did an MRI of the baby’s brain and found that it had little holes in it.  There are only a few things that cause that.  I knew the baby had Herpes, genital Herpes infection that was causing these holes in the baby’s brain. 

I went back to mom and dad and said, “I know what is going on here, which of you has Herpes?”  And mom said, “I don’t have Genital Herpes.”  And dad says, “When I was 17 I had a girl friend, but I didn’t tell my wife and I have always been safe with my wife so I have always protected her.”  And sure enough, the Herpes that he got when he was 17 from one girl friend was what was causing the seizures and the severe brain damage in this baby. That was the first time mom had learned about it

I went home that night and I was sitting there watching television with my kids and an advertisement came on the TV; it was a young couple kayaking down a river and a voice over came on that said, “Now, you no longer have to let Genital Herpes interfere with your life.” And that was it….I exploded!  I said, “Wait a minute!  Herpes doesn’t interfere with your life?  I have this baby in the hospital who was dying because of a Herpes infection!  Why doesn’t somebody tell the kids out there that having sex when you are a teenager is extremely dangerous?” 

That is what prompted my research and prompted me writing this book, because I felt every single parent of a child in America needs to know what kids are facing, because it is not the 1970’s, the 1980’s or even the 1990’s any more as far as the sexual landscape of our youth.  It is very, very different.

We just don’t live in the same world that we used to.

This is some of what our teens are fighting:

1 in 4 teens has an STD
45 Million Americans have Type 2 Herpes
1 out of 5 Americans over the age 12 test positive for Genital Herpes
50% of babies born with herpes will die, the other 50% will be brain damaged
Many STD’s do not have any symptoms at all
In the 60’s and 70’s there were five known sexually transmitted diseases in the culture.  Today there are over fifty (depending on how you count)

Dr. Meeker:   Actually it depends on how you count.  We could say there are a whole lot more.  If you take, for instance, human papiloma virus – HPv, which causes cervical cancer, there are 80 to 100 strains of HPv alone.  Now, only about a dozen of those cause cancer, but do we say HPv is one infection?  Or do we say it is 12 infections?  Or do we count it as 80 infections?  So, it really depends on how you count.  And we only learned that HPv causes cervical cancer in the 1990’s. 

I was shocked at this information because it is just so different than the world I grew up in.

What was even more disturbing about the broadcast is that even with all of the education we have been giving on the risks of STDs, the rates of incidence are steadily climbing!

Parents and peers can still make a huge impact on teens, even on those days where it does not feel like it. If you are a parent of a teen, or soon will have a teen in your house… here are some resources to help your family face this issue armed with good information.  

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Website)
  • National Institutes of Health (Website)
  • Family Life Today Resources: 
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    1. I heard this broadcast too and was astonished at the statistics! But I must have missed the part about the baby that contracted herpes from the mother without her knowledge. And immediately I am THANKFUL even in my sin, God protected my babies from such devestation. Wow, this hits home.

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