Spring cleaning for your private parts: STD Awareness Month is here!
April is National STD Awareness Month. Now before you balk and insist you don’t need to be tested, here are some things the Center for Disease Control wants you—particularly the young’uns out there—to know:
- There are approximately 19 million new infections per year, leaving the U.S. healthcare system with a $17 billion bill. Ouch.
- Nearly half of those infections happen in people ages 15-24.
- HPV accounts for 51% of all new infection in people ages 15-24, followed by Trichomoniasis (21%!) and the trifecta of Chlamydia, Herpes and Gonorrhea.
- But wait! Incidences of Syphilis actually increase in people ages 25 and up!
- Every single one of these increases susceptibility for contracting HIV.
While some STDs such as HPV, Herpes and HIV get a lot of press, when’s the last time you heard anyone talking about Trichomoniasis? (For the record, it’s a parasite. I repeat: a parasite. Men show absolutely no symptoms, while women may develop a stinky, frothy yellow discharge. You’re welcome. Also, gross.) It’s important to understand the full scope of STDs and how to prevent them. Here’s a tip: condoms help.
To increase sexual health across the nation and save the government a whole lot of money, the CDC wants you to get tested! The first step is having a conversation with your partner and your physician or gynecologist. Start with the CDC’s Five P’s: Partners, Practices, Protection from STDs, Past History of STDs, and Prevention of Pregnancy.
To find your local STD testing site and for more information about STDs and how to prevent them, visit the Get Yourself Tested Campaign.