April is STD Awareness Month, a time to get yourself tested for STDs (sexually transmitted diseases aka infections) and raise awareness to people both young and old the importance of getting tested. Knowing your STD status is a critical step to stopping STD transmission.
Some of the most common STDs are chlamydia, herpes and gonorrhoea. Around 3 million new cases of chlamydia are reported each year, with adolescent women being the most commonly affected. But STDs like chlamydia are passed through unprotected sex, and can often be prevented by using condoms.
While chlamydia can be treated with antibiotics, viral STDs like HIV/AIDS are for life and will require continual treatment. It is thought 1 in 5 Americans living with HIV don’t know they have it, and that’s why it’s so important to know early HIV symptoms and get tested.
If you are sexually active, using condoms consistently and correctly, from start to finish, is one of the best ways to help prevent STDs. Condoms are the ONLY method that protects sexually active people from both STDs and pregnancy. It’s estimated that 1 in 2 sexually active people will get an STD by the age of 25. Most won’t know it. The only way to find out is to get yourself tested.
We hope you will share the link to this story widely among your friends and strangers. Consider getting tested if you are concerned about an infection. Learn how to use a condom and where to access them in your community. And by all means know that you are the only one who can prevent STDs from happening to you. Click here for resources and for more information on STDs, visit cdc.gov/std.