By Hunter Hines
Christian Action League
January 31, 2020
This week the Raleigh News and Observer highlighted a study recently done by Innerbody.com. Using 2018 data from the Centers for Disease Control, the research shows North Carolina ranks among the worst in the nation for sexually transmitted diseases. The state placed No. 6 among the 10 states with the highest rates.
“The state had a total of 91,376 reported cases of STDs… With a population of nearly 10.3 million, that’s 889 cases per 100,000 people,” said the N&O.
The newspaper continued:
“There were 66,553 reported cases of chlamydia in the state, 23,725 cases of gonorrhea, and 1,098 cases of syphilis, according to the study.
“Data on herpes and other ‘relatively common’ STDs are not collected by the CDC, the study says. Additionally, HIV cases weren’t reported by some cities and weren’t included in the study.
“But according to 2018 data from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, there were 1,218 newly reported cases of HIV among those ages 13 and older in the state.”
The news story suggested that sexually active persons should do the following to protect themselves from STDs:
- Use condoms every time you have sex.
- Get the vaccinations now available that protect against HPV, which has become the most common STD, according to the CDC.
- Talk to your partner to make sure you both have been tested for STDs. As a sexually active person, the one way to be certain you don’t have an STD is to be tested. If going to the doctor and getting the test makes you feel uncomfortable, there are at-home tests that can be used.
Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, said the CDC’s 2018 Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance Report shows an uptick of STDs nationwide for the last five years.
“These figures provided by the CDC, which innerbody.com drew from for their study, show that we have a serious health issue – one that’s not likely to significantly improve by taking the recommended steps for prevention,” said Creech. “Any person sexually active outside of marriage between a husband and wife and a committed relationship of mutual fidelity is at risk of an STD. No other method provides guaranteed protection. Anything else is like playing Russian Roulette with your health. At best, condoms are partially protective, sometimes leaking and breaking. The HPV vaccinations do protect against some types of HPV-related cancers, but not all of them. Furthermore, The U.S. Department of Human Health and Services says there are no vaccines to prevent or treat HIV.”
In an issue of The Daily Citizen from Focus on the Family, Jeff Johnston said that cultural factors are driving the current resurgence in STDs. Johnston said:
“These would include factors such as the breakdown of the family and absence of fathers from their children’s lives; media and entertainment that depict sexual activity but rarely show the emotional or physical consequences; sexualization of children in education; the ‘hook-up culture’ on some college campuses; and the rampant availability and use of pornography.”
Johnston also contended that “these rising [STD] rates are more evidence of the malignant consequences of the ‘sexual revolution’ which normalized divorce, cohabitation, and sex outside of marriage.”
Johnston further argued that though the situation is terrible, the crisis presented by sexually transmitted diseases provides numerous opportunities for Christians to “point to the goodness of God’s design for relationships, marriage, family, and sexuality.” Moreover, he said, “It’s a reminder to parents to teach their children about God’s plan for these key areas of life.”
Creech added that North Carolina law requires public schools to teach both abstinence and comprehensive sex education. Parents who prefer not to have their children exposed to comprehensive sex education can opt them out.
But he cautioned, “Every parent who believes in a biblical approach to human sexuality should be concerned about reports the office of the Christian Action League has been receiving from parents who say their child’s school is ignoring the law and teaching comprehensive sex only, leaving off the abstinence part. Outside of a Christian school or home-schooling situation, you have to be super diligent about knowing what your children are being taught.”