The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that nearly 20 million new sexually transmitted infections (STIs) occur every year in this country. How in the HEALTH does that happen? I mean, who wants to ruin an intimate moment with conversation about diseases, testing and protection? A few bumps, discharge, odor and pain is worth the intimacy right? Truth is, sex can be pretty amazing! BUT let’s review the facts.
- According to the CDC, more than one out of every six people aged 14 to 49 years have genital herpes (herpes simplex virus – HSV).
- As reported by the American Sexual Health Association, researchers estimate that at least 80% of sexually active people will have an HPV infection at some point in their lifetime.
- According to CDC, 1.1 million people in the US are living with HIV, and 1 in 7 of them don’t know it.
- In 2015, rates of the three most common reportable STIs—chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis—reached a record high level. The approximately 1.5 million reported cases of chlamydia represent the highest number of annual cases of any condition ever reported to CDC.
Remember the nasty pictures from your high school sex ed class? If the statistics are not enough to alarm you, simply click the link below to refresh your memory:
Most people fear judgement and/or lack of sexual desire from their partner when disclosing this information. No heat, no judgement – we all have a past. This blog was written to inform and not shame – learning experiences build character. The reality is, some people simply have no regard for their own health, let alone their sexual partner’s health. Promiscuity is REAL! STD/STI rates are rising; therefore, I strongly encourage you to have the conversation with your partner. If having the conversation is uncomfortable for you, always practice safe sex (birth control does NOT protect against STIs), reduce sexual partners or practice monogamy. Be sure to get your annual STD screening (HIV, HPV and HSV upon request) and get tested if you have reason to believe you’ve been exposed to an STD.
If you do not have a primary care physician, visit your local health department for testing.
While there is curable treatment for most STIs, repeat infections or infections left untreated, can lead to serious health problems with both short and long-term consequences.
Click this link to review more facts on STDs.