STD Awareness Month at Arnot Health
Three common STDs—chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis—are surging across the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Young people are especially hard-hit. In fact, because reported cases only account for a fraction of the national burden, CDC estimates 15-24-year olds account for half of all new sexually transmitted infections each year.
"The consequences of STDs are especially severe for young people," said Gail Bolan, M.D., director of CDC's Division of STD Prevention. "Because chlamydia and gonorrhea often have no symptoms, many infections go undiagnosed and this can lead to lifelong repercussions for a woman's reproductive health, including pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility."
Untreated STDs can also increase a person's risk of getting HIV, or passing it to a partner if they're living with HIV.
The good news? All STDs can be prevented and treated, and most can be cured. Here's how to take three simple steps to protect your health.
Simple Steps to Stop the Spread: Talk. Test. Treat.
- Talk openly with partner(s) and healthcare providers about sex and STDs.
- Get tested. Because many STDs have no symptoms, getting tested is the only way to know for sure if you have an infection.
- If you test positive for an STD, work with your doctor to get the correct treatment. Some STDs can be cured with the right medication. Those that aren't curable can be treated.
Know the Facts:
- You can't tell someone has an STD just by looking at them.
- STDs often have no symptoms. The only way to know for sure if you have an STD is to get tested.
- STD tests aren't always a part of a regular doctor visit—you may have to ask for tests.
- Almost all STDs that can be spread via unprotected vaginal sex can also be spread through unprotected oral and anal sex.
- Birth control methods like the pill, patch, ring, and IUD are very effective at preventing pregnancy; condoms protect against pregnancy and STDs.
- STD testing is a basic part of staying healthy.