Some stats from this today, in case you or someone you know needs them:
If you are having the kind of sex that presents a possible risk of pregnancy, you are having one of the two kinds of sex (anal intercourse being the other) that presents the biggest STI risks, too. When there is direct genital contact — including for people with the same kinds of genitals, where there isn’t a risk of pregnancy — there are always risks — a definite maybe — of STIs. And those risks are usually not smaller than pregnancy risks for people in the age group we work with most, even though a lot of people think they are.
Experts estimate that almost half of the United States’ over 19 million STI infections each year occur in youth ages 15-24. A recent study found that one in four young women ages 15-19 has an STI in the U.S. One in four: we’ve had that figure for a long time now, it’s nothing new. More broadly, people between the ages of 15 and 24 account for 50 percent of all new STIs.
In 2008, the U.S. teen pregnancy rate was 67.8 pregnancies per 1,000 young women ages 15 to 19: in other words, just under 7 pregnancies per every 100 people aged 15-19, or around 7%. And, more broadly, about 30 percent of Americans who have the ability to become pregnant do before the age of 20.
So: One in every four people aged 15-19 acquires an STI each year. But less than one in every ten in that same age group becomes unintentionally pregnant. To put it another way: 25% of young people in the United States has an STI. Only around 7% in that same age group become pregnant in a year.
You can perhaps then see how you are most often more at risk of STIs than pregnancy if you are a young person engaging in the kind of sex that poses risks of both.
More at risk. Not less. Not the same. More.