April 10-16 is Sexually Transmitted Disease Awareness Week.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified education as one of the major factors involved in the prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STI). So let’s look at what we know:
- 1 in 5 people in the US have an STI
- 26 million new STI were diagnosed in 2018
- Almost half of all new STI were among persons age 15-24 years old
- New STIs total $16 Billion in medical costs annually
Prevention is the best strategy against STI. CDC recommends having open and honest conversations with partners and health care providers. Have a discussion with partners about previous or current sexual health BEFORE having sex. Effective use of condoms with EVERY encounter to prevent spread of infection. Conversation with your health care provider should include concerning symptoms, known exposure and if any occurrences of unprotected sex.
Many STI do not have symptoms so it is possible to be infected and not be aware. Testing can be completed by your regular doctor or at a local clinic like Epic Urgent & Family Care. Testing is completely confidential. If you are found to have an infection you will be treated with medication and counseling provided for follow-up as well as informing partners. You should see a provider if you notice abnormal discharge, sores on genitals or mouth that are new, painful urination or if you have been notified that you have been exposed to an STI.
If you believe you need to be tested you can call Epic Urgent & Family Care for complete and confidential testing and counseling. Good sexual health is part of good overall health.
The CDC has many resources for prevention, treatment and speaking with your teens about STI a few of which have been included here.
Call us at 708-733-7750 or book an appointment online to get started.