The CDC estimates over 19 million new STD cases will be documented each year in the US. The largest new cases will be Chlamydia and Gonorrhea. April is the month that is marked to recognize sexually transmitted diseases and to encourage STD testing for all that are sexually active. STDs are transferred between sexual partners and by those that share needles to administer drugs. So many sexually transmitted diseases have symptoms that are easily ignored that treatment is delayed or does not happen and the disease continues to spread to others that one comes in contact with.
Practicing Safe Sex
Practicing safe sex is the first line of defense against acquiring and the spread of STDs. The use of condoms and regular testing for STDs, are the way for the sexually active to maintain sexual health outside of abstinence. Part of the education push during April as part of STD Awareness Month is the using of condoms during sexual exploration. There is the discussion of never sharing intravenous needles since this is the greatest way that HIV and some forms of hepatitis are spread. Of course, the best practice if one is not going to use a condom is to practice abstinence and maintain a monogamous relationship after being tested.
During the April spotlight of sexually transmitted diseases is the plan of health care agencies and the CDC to not only educate the population, but to change the stigmas associated with STDs. Along with the change of the dreaded stigmas is to bring awareness of testing for STDs. STD testing can be done anonymously and the results are confidential. Many tests can be done in the privacy of the home with codes given to acquire the results by phone or over the computer. Many STD testing centers have chat rooms online and individual phone sessions to assist with answering of questions and to discuss the results and treatment options along with sharing information with the public.
Many look forward to April for the spring breaks that students look forward to from classes and the warmer weather that has arrived. Spotlighting sexually transmitted diseases on campuses and reaching out to the youth from 15 to 29 years of age to practice safe sex is a big part of the April STD Awareness Month push to get the word out about sexually transmitted diseases and the effects on one’s health now and in the future. Promoting STD testing for early detection and treatment is one way of decreasing the damage to one’s health as well as maintaining sexual health. STD awareness is not only for April, but all twelve months of the year. The annual observance in April also promotes the good news that most STDs are not only treatable, but curable with early detection. No matter what month of the y ear, seek out a STD testing clinic for early detection and what is meant by the practice of safe sex every time a sexual encounter occurs.