Public health officials have declared April STD Awareness Month across the U.S., making it an ideal time for individuals to educate themselves on sexually transmitted diseases and get tested for them.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, STDs are more common than ever. In fact, more than 110 million men and women across the nation have STDs, and an estimated 20 million new cases are diagnosed each year. Young people, between the ages of 15 and 24, are most commonly impacted by STDs. They account for half of all new infections.
Health officials remind sexually active individuals that many STDs go unnoticed because some affected people do not experience symptoms.This makes spreading them easy, as many people don't know they have an STD and unknowingly pass it to their sexual partners.
The good news is that most STDs are treatable. However, if left untreated, they may cause serious health implications, such as infertility.
It's important for sexually active individuals to discuss their risk of contracting various STDs with a medical professional. Additionally, they should follow STD testing recommendations. For instance, the CDC suggests that girls and women under the age of 25 who are having sex undergo a chlamydia test each year.
Health officials also condone the use of condoms to help reduce the spread of STDs.