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about Abstinence

Volume II; Issue 2                          This issue dedicated to the MEDICAL PROFESSION                      July, 1999

In this issue:  Birth/Abortion Rate Declines | Herpes & HPV Statistics | Letters to future mates


The Declines in Adolescent Pregnancy,
Birth and Abortion Rates in the 1990s:
What factors are Responsible?

A special report commissioned by
The Consortium of State Physicians Resource Councils

A commentary on the above study opens by saying:

"This research report, commissioned by 13 state Physician Resource Councils (PRCs) representing thousands of practicing physicians, support conclusions that are in direct contradiction to the prevailing notions of government funded health agencies. The key findings of the report, based on the latest government data, are that:

(If you would like a copy of the complete report,  please contact the Consortium of State PRCs,
c/o NJ Physicians Resource Council 877-236-5772)


Herpes and HPV -- Some Staggering Statistics

The Medical Institute for Sexual Health(MISH) - founded by Dr. Joe McIlhaney - is a great resource for STD information and abstinence materials. Two of the STDs Dr. McIlhaney uses to show the increase in STD rates are Herpes and HPV (Human Papillomavirus.) Dr. McIlhaney allows that "specific data is difficult to find for the entire unmarried, sexually active population of 1960" but by comparing estimates of visits to private MDs for Herpes and HPV (as reported by the National Disease and Therapeutic Index), we can get a feel for the increasing magnitude of these two diseases:
 

  1966  1980 1995
Herpes1 20,0001 50,000 130,000
HPV 60,000 180,000 250,000
1 Visits per year to a physician's office to be treated for this disease (actual numbers of people infected with these diseases is much higher) Herpes Facts

The above figures would indicate that 38 percent more Americans are now infected with herpes type II than were infected one and one-half decades ago. Another major research report on Herpes in the United States, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in October, 1997, showed that since the late 70s, the prevalence of HSV-2 (herpes simplex virus-2) has increased by 30 percent and is "now detectable in roughly one of five persons 12 years of age or older nationwide." Most people are not aware of the following consequences of herpes:

  1. When women who had a history of herpes in the past were tested, 22.9 per cent were found to have herpes virus present, even when no sores were currently present (Kowll, wr L., 1992, Annals of Internal Medicine, 116 (6), 433-437.)
  2. Women with asymptomatic or unrecognized HSV-II (herpes II) infection give birth to most of the infants who develop neonatal herpes, which is associated with significant morbidity and mortality rates despite antiviral therapy (Brown, Z.A., et. Al, New England Journal of Medicine, 324(18), 1247-52.) [A major reason for the increase in caesarean section during recent years]
HPV Facts - A recent study of female college students receiving care at a University health centers disclosed that genital HPV infections were five times more common than all otherSTDs combined. Forty-six percent of sexually active coeds tested by the Student Health Center were infected with HPV. HPV causes genital warts and over 90% of all cervical cancer, and some cancers of the penis (NIH 1996). Approximately 4,900 American women died from cervical cancer in 1996. Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women worldwide.

Even if the HPV warts are not visible, the infection can be passed from one person to another. Some warts may need to be treated repeatedly with laser or surgery and followed up with freezing, acid or podophyllin to treat the satellite warts. Repeated laser therapy can damage the cervix and lead to infertility, premature delivery, or difficult delivery. For these reasons, every women who has ever had intercourse should have a yearly Pap smear (Sexual Health Today, MISH, p. 61-63)

ODH (the Ohio Department of Health) does not currently keep statistics on the Herpes or HPV epidemics in Ohio. If you think greater effort should be put forth in educating the public and keeping statistics on these devastating diseases, please write to: Dr. Forrest Smith, Infectious Disease, Ohio Department of Health, 246 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43266-0118 with your concerns.


"I © You Truly"

A health teacher tried one of the suggestions that we make in our professional training seminars -- to interested students, he suggested that they write a letter to their future spouse regarding their decision to abstain from sex until marriage. It shows their class lessons were not about just saying no, but a whole lot about true love. Here are some examples of those letters:


 Dear Future Wife,

Although I have not found you yet and am only a Freshman, I am saving something for you, my heart and my virginity. Because of you and my love for you that will be exposed at a future date, I am going to be abstinent until our wedding night. I am making this decision because I donít want to give my heart out to anyone but you and saving my virginity will help me do that. I hope you trust me and believe that I have saved myself for you and Iím sure our honeymoon will be worth the wait.

With All My Heart,


To my future husband,

HI! Right now I am a Freshman (soon to be Sophomore) I am in my health class and our teacher asked us to write a letter to our spouse (future of course) saying why we have decided to remain sexually abstinent. I want, and choose to be abstinent because of the way I was raised. Also, we just got done with our Sex-ed unit. We learned TONS of facts on STD and HIV. Plus, we had to watch these slides with people with real STDís. Sorry but that is something that I donít want. Also I just feel like, why do I have to have sex? I am only in 9th grade. Itís not like doing it will make me this awesome person. In fact, it will do just the opposite. Well, gotta go.


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