Condoms" by inga / CC BY 2.0

With STDs Rising, Advocates Hope State Legislators Will Fix Harmful Sex Ed Laws

Jan 10, 2020

By Martha Kempner

As state legislative sessions kick off this month, advocates will push for improved sexuality education policies to curb the alarming rates of sexually transmitted infections and diseases (STIs and STDs) among young people.

States like Montana—where gonorrhea numbers are at a 40-year high—and Michigan have reported surges in STIs like chlamydia, syphilis, and gonorrhea. These reports are part of a national trend.

In October, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released data for 2018 that reported STIs rose for the fifth consecutive year, confirming young people between the ages of 15 and 24 are disproportionately affected. Meanwhile, conservative opposition to sex education persists: Colorado Republican lawmakers last year threatened to recall Democrats who backed comprehensive sex ed legislation.

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