Nobody wants to talk about sexually transmitted infections, but they are on the rise. Thankfully, most are preventable and treatable. Read on to learn the facts about sexually transmitted infections this Sexually Transmitted Infection Awareness Month.
- It is reported that there are nearly 20 million new sexually transmitted infections every year in the U.S.
- If you add each year’s new infections to the ones that already exist among Americans, there are approximately 110 million people living with them.
- The terms sexually transmitted infection (STI) and sexually transmitted disease (STD) are interchangeable and mean the same thing.
- Anyone who is sexually active is at risk for developing an STI.
- In recent data from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between the years 2013 – 2017, Syphilis cases nearly doubled, Gonorrhea cases increased by 67 percent and Chlamydia cases remained at record highs.
So, what can you do to prevent an STI?
- Practice safe sex. Regardless of your sexual preference, safe sex is the best way to prevent transmission of a sexually transmitted infection. There are many options available, and your physician can help you decide which one may be right for you.
- Talk candidly with your partners and health care providers about sex and sexually transmitted infections.
- Get tested because many sexually transmitted infections do not have any symptoms and if left undiagnosed, can cause a host of health problems including pelvic inflammatory disease.
- Get treatment. There is no shame in testing positive and if so, talk with your physician immediately about proper treatment. Some STIs are curable with the right medication and the others which are not curable, can be treated.
While it may feel embarrassing to talk about sexually transmitted infections with your physician, they are trained and knowledgeable resources for you. They discuss them with patients often and want you to be your healthiest self.
Jackson Healthcare for Women is Mississippi’s leading provider of health care services for women. With 15 physicians on staff, Jackson Healthcare for Women is one of the largest and most respected women’s healthcare clinics in the area.