Some unsettling data for parents, as the Missouri Department of Health releases numbers showing that there were 57 reported cases of STD’s among children aged 10-14 in North-Central Missouri in the last 2 years.
Cale Mitchell, the executive director of the Regional Aids Interfaith Network in Columbia, says those numbers weren’t even collected before 2008 because the Department of Health only tracked numbers for people over 15 years old.
“It is shocking to even us. When you start talking about age groups that are really middle school – junior high… The general population’s perception is that those individuals are not sexually active,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell hopes if nothing else, this gives parents incentive to talk to their kids even sooner about sex.
“Having conversations that are appropriate for your family and for what fits with your fundamental belief system; whether that’s faith-based or whether it’s just a general moral code,” Mitchell said.
Those 57 reported cases were among 36 counties in North-Central Missouri and actually only included female’s cases. Mitchell says it’s likely the actual number of cases is, unfortunately, even higher.