Letters for Tuesday, July 29, 2008

• Consequences of teen sexual activity

• The dumbing down effect

• Future ours to take

Consequences of teen sexual activity

A woman recently wrote Dear Abby stating that her 17-year-old niece was diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease; her 14-year-old niece also told her that she might be pregnant. The consequences of teen sexual activity are affecting families all over the nation.

Children born to teen moms live at the poverty level for an average of 10 years, and only 39 percent of teen fathers receive high school diplomas or GEDs by age 20.

The Center for Disease Control in Atlanta recently released statistics that show 25 percent of teens in America have contracted a sexually transmitted disease. In a single day, for every teenage girl who becomes pregnant in the U.S., four teens contract an STD.

This means that one in four teenagers on Kaua‘i is infected with an STD. Some students may not be aware that they have a disease. Chlamydia, HIV, and HPV (human papilloma virus) are a few of the STDs that show no signs or symptoms for years. The only way to know is to get tested.

Another CDC report showed that over 1,400 teens contract HIV every month in the U.S. making it the third leading cause of death for 15-29 year olds. When someone contracts HIV, they can look and feel healthy for years before developing AIDS; you can’t tell by looking at someone if they are HIV-positive or not.

Hawai‘i is ranked sixth in the nation for chlamydia infections. Chlamydia damages a girl’s reproductive organs and destroys her ability to get pregnant. If a girl contracts chlamydia in her teens and doesn’t get treated, she may not even know that she has become infertile until years later when she tries to get pregnant.

The human papilloma virus causes cervical cancer in females, and new studies show HPV is causing an increase in cancer of the throat, and tonsils in males. Gonorrhea and syphilis are still around and going strong, not to mention herpes, and trichomoniasis. HPV and herpes are transmitted by skin to skin contact and are incurable. At last count, there were over 200 different strains of STDs.

If you, your friends or family members are sexually active, now is the time to get tested for STDs. Some of these diseases can be transmitted by kissing. Some require blood tests for diagnosis. Others are detected through urine tests. A woman’s regular yearly exam (Pap Test) does not test for STDs, it is only a screening test for cervical cancer. If you are sexually active, it is important to see your doctor and ask specifically to be tested for STDs even if you feel fine.

There are many Web sites that can be accessed for more information. The CDC is one. Another good one is www.teenpregnancy.org

While some of these diseases are incurable, others can be treated and cured if detected early. If you aren’t sure if the important people in your life are free from sexually transmitted diseases, (the only way to be sure is to be tested) please discuss it with them. It could be life saving.

Sammee Albano


The dumbing down effect

After reading the July 27 letter “Presidential uncertainty,” the question comes to mind “What kind of logic do radical left wing leaders and their sheep use when making a decision, versus those on the right or in the middle?”

Mr. Boranian’s explanation of the “logic” he’s using to decide which candidate is his personal choice to become our next president is as follows:

The author states of McCain:

He’s an anachronism.

He once was gunpowder, now he’s talcum.

He has no concept of the Internet.

He cannot lead.

He is based on the past. So don’t vote for him.

Now his reasoning and perception as to why to vote for Obama:

How he will perform is yet to be seen.

Voting is a gamble (so let’s gamble).

With him there are no guarantees (but who cares).

With Obama we’ll have to wait for only four years to see if he’s a hero or a bum. So surely we should vote for him.

Hmm. For McCain the author uses empty words, convenient perception and uneducated name calling.

For Obama there are no facts, only severely flawed “logic” inviting us to “gamble” our futures.

Isn’t this a perfect example of the “let’s close our eyes, peek at the spinning wheel and hope” voting strategy? Isn’t this the same pseudo logic used by mentally challenged Las Vegas losers who think they will surly win big if they just gamble their little hearts out long enough? Isn’t this really saying “don’t confuse me with the mathematical odds that guarantee I will lose over time because I have a dream.”

Wow. And isn’t this the same argument and logic used by the author in deciding who to make the most powerful human being on earth?

When the stakes are this high it would be much more prudent to vote for someone we know all about and can live with, over a grab your donkey and vote for a wish-filled “gamble.”

Oh well. May the aloha spirit shine forth and let us accept those who practice this highly speculative voting strategy as simply ill-informed contributors to the “dumbing down of America.”

Gordon Oswald


Future ours to take

The anti-Obama talking heads are saying that he is acting “too presidential,” that he is acting “presumptuous.” How can a candidate for president of the United States look too presidential?

I’m for the presidential look all the way. What’s the alternative? Some mealy mouthed, colorless milquetoast?

As for being presumptuous, judging by the record of eight years of Republican disaster, Sen. Obama should be optimistic about his chances of winning in November.

If we Americans are as astute as the Europeans at picking winners, Sen. Obama will become President Obama, and then we will all find out if he is as good as he looks and sounds.

The future is ours to take; the past is prologue.

Harry Boranian



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