April is STD Awareness Month
STDs – sexually transmitted diseases - have come charging back across the nation. Since 2013, chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis have all sharply increased, with more than 2 MILLION of these infections reported in 2017 alone. Today, as these STDs continue to surge, we face a climbing number of babies born with syphilis, an increasing risk of infertility and getting or giving HIV. The good news is that there are many simple ways to prevent STDs and most infections are treatable and curable.
Get yourself tested. Getting tested for STDs is one of the most important things you can do to protect your health. Since many STDs have little or no symptoms, have open, honest discussions with your health care provider. Your health care provider isn’t going to judge you – he/she is here to help you and make sure you get the correct treatment regimen if needed. You are responsible for taking care of your health by being honest about your sexual activity. Your health care provider can help you with prevention tips, like condom use.
Encourage your partner to be tested. It may be hard to talk to your partner about STDs but if you’re in a relationship that’s serious enough for sexual activity, then being open with each other about past sexual activity and STDs is important. Protect each other by both of you getting tested BEFORE having sex.
For more information about STDs go to the Center for Disease Control website, https://www.cdc.gov/features/stdawareness/index.html