The Center for Disease Control has named April as STD awareness month. Sexually transmitted diseases (also referred to as sexually transmitted infections, or STIs) are at an epidemic level in the United States. Young people ages 15-24 account for nearly half of all new infections, making them especially vulnerable to contracting a disease that can have a huge effect on their health and their futures.
Knowing the facts about STDs is the place to begin in making a plan to avoid getting an STD:
- A sexually transmitted disease can be transmitted through skin-to-skin contact or through body fluids, depending on the type of disease. While condoms do lower the risk of some STDs,
It’s important to know, however, that they cannot completely protect you and your partner from some STDs, like herpes, syphilis, or human papillomavirus (HPV), the virus that causes genital warts and cervical cancer. Also, condoms can break, slip, or leak, especially if they are not put on and taken off properly. (quote from www.cdc.gov)
- STDs are both viral and bacterial. While bacterial diseases can be treated, the antibiotics will not reverse any damage to internal organs that may have been caused by the STD. For example, chlamydia is the leading cause of infertility in the United States today. Although chlamydia is an easily treatable bacterial infection, most people who contract chlamydia do not experience symptoms, leading them to delay treatment. Even without symptoms, the disease can damage a woman’s reproductive system.
- Viral STDs cannot be cured. In some cases, your body can fight off a minor viral infection. In other cases (such as with herpes), once a person contracts a viral STD, he or she will have it for a lifetime.
The Center for Disease Control highlights the importance of preventing STDs! They are preventable! According to their website,
The only sure way to prevent pregnancy and STDs is NOT to have sex.
If you are already sexually active, you must be tested! STDs can have a serious effect on your health, your future, and your relationships. Because we care about all of those outcomes in your life, Selah offers free testing and treatment for the most common STDs. Contact us if you would like to schedule a free, confidential appointment with our nurse.