April is STD awareness month

April is STD Awareness Month, an annual observance to raise public awareness about the impact of sexually transmitted diseases and the importance of discussing sexual health with health care providers and sexual partners.

About 19 million new sexually transmitted diseases occur every year in the United States; almost half of these are among people ages 15 to 24, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

STDs pose a greater public health threat to young women, black people, homosexual men, and those living in poverty or with limited access to health care.
STDs such as Chlamydia and Gonorrhea are major causes of infertility among women. These, and other common STDs, also increase the risk of HIV.
There are many effective ways to prevent, diagnose and treat STDs. Screenings and early diagnoses are vital in preventing serious health consequences and increased transmission.

Screening is particularly important, since many STDs often have no signs or symptoms.
The CDC recommends annual Chlamydia screening for sexually active women under the age of 26. The CDC also recommends women between the ages of 11 and 26, who have not been previously vaccinated or who have not completed the full series of shots, be fully vaccinated against Human papilloma virus, the STD linked to cervical cancer.

The CDC also recommends homosexual men receive annual HIV, Syphilis and Chlamydia blood testing.
For more information about STDs, visit the CDC’s Web site at www.cdc.gov/std.
(Courtesy of Landstuhl Regional Medical Center)