April is designated as National STD Awareness Month and an important time to help educate everyone about the dangers of Sexually Transmitted Diseases. We can’t continue to ignore this healthcare crisis but must become advocates for awareness, treatment and education for all ages.
As women, the subjects that seem to frighten us the most are the ones that are “unknown” in terms of the harm it can cause our bodies. STD’s are on the rise, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). We can’t continue to stick our heads in the sand thinking it doesn’t affect us, the numbers don’t lie…
The numbers should scare us!
- The CDC estimates there are approximately 20 million new STD infections each year.
- More than 9 million women in the U.S. are diagnosed with a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) each year
- Young women ages (15-24) account for nearly half (45%) of reported cases
- From 2017, there has been an increase of more than 1.7 million cases of Chlamydia, a 22% increase from 2013 levels
- We are facing climbing numbers of babies born with syphilis, increased risk of infertility and getting or giving HIV
What’s the Good News?
There has been a tremendous response about this crisis from health organizations across the globe including the CDC, federal organizations, community leaders, healthcare providers and individuals who are working diligently to get the word out about safe sex. Researchers have made this a public health priority and continue to focus on prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
What are the risks?
- If you have more than one sex partner
- You have sex with someone who has had many partners
- You don’t use a condom when having sex
- You share needles when injecting intravenous drugs
- You trade sex for money or drugs
What are the symptoms?
According to Stanfordchildrens.org, many STDs have only mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. Some STDs may have symptoms that go away for a while but then come back. When women have symptoms, they may be mistaken for something else – like a urinary tract infection or yeast infection. Researchers are also studying the reasons why many STDs have no symptoms.
What we can do about STD’s?
Start with the three T’s…
- The first step is to talk to a medical professional if you think you’ve been exposed to an STD. If left untreated, STDs can lead to serious conditions
- Have an open and honest discussion with your sex partner
- Get yourself tested
- Seek treatment
It’s time to protect yourself, lower your risk and remain vigilant against STD’s!
The information on this site is intended to raise awareness and understanding of specific health issues. It should not be used for diagnosis or a substitute for health care by a physician.