With STDs continuing to rise in the United States, it’s important to know the facts. April is STD Awareness Month, a perfect time to get informed on what can be a silent health risk, even leading to death. Here’s what you’ll want to know:
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate there are more than twenty million new STD (chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis) infections in the U.S. each year.
- While curable with antibiotics, many cases go undiagnosed and untreated. Consequences of this can be severe, including infertility, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth, increased HIV risk, even death.
- Certain groups are at increased risk, including sexually active women under 25.
The CDC currently sponsors four STD Awareness Campaigns:
- GYT: Get Yourself Treated is for young people to understand the myths and misconceptions surrounding STDs and to learn about appropriate testing and treatment.
- Test. Treat. Three simple actions by patients and healthcare providers can protect the health of the individual, their partner, and patients at large. First, have open and honest discussions with each other. Second, get tested or recommend appropriate testing. Finally, get or prescribe treatment.
- Syphilis Strikes Back focuses on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of this potentially deadly disease which can impact pregnant women and newborn babies, among others.
- Treat Me Right encourages patients to be proactive about taking care of their health and ask providers for what they need while equipping providers with critical communication and health information to treat their patients right.
Talk with your healthcare provider about your risk for STDs and any tests they might recommend. For more information from the CDC, go here.