YA-A succinct, well-written title detailing the various types of sexually transmitted diseases and their causes, side effects, treatments, and stages. Interwoven into the narrative is a running series of questions-and-answers focusing on three different groups of teenagers and their various sexual/social situations. Realistic concerns are raised and discussed openly, illustrating differing sexual orientations and practices. While the subject of peer pressure gets heavy emphasis, regrettably little attention is given to the topic of abstinence. While the book is a valuable addition to any YA collection, it needs to be balanced with abstinence-based books to give a more well-rounded perspective on sexual options for young people.-Carol Beall, Immanuel Christian School, Springfield, VA
A book for young people. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
The authors address three questions: What are sexually transmitted diseases? How does one get them? How can one keep from getting them? The first two questions are covered extensively in understandable but nonpatronizing language. STDs are discussed in general, and then the most common are presented individually in more detail, including the ways they are contracted, symptoms, possible consequences, and treatment. The authors are nonjudgmental but emphasize the ethical responsibility one has to oneself and one's partner to disclose previous and current sexual practices that could put another person at risk. In answering the third question, they sometimes confuse protection with prevention ("The best way to prevent gonorrhea is to be careful about whom you have sex with"). Later, and more accurately, they state, "The only really safe sex is no sex." In another place they warn of the danger of spreading ulcers from the genital area to the eyes through hand contact. The authors repeatedly urge readers to seek help at the first sign of a problem and to discuss openly with partners the most effective methods for mutual protection, and they suggest ways to open such discussions. Appended are an extensive glossary and a list of places offering educational information or counseling.