The Centers for Disease Control declares April is STD Awareness month. Here are a few statistics from the CDC website:
* CDC estimates that there are approximately 19 million new cases of STDs each year in the United States, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.
* STDs have an economic impact: direct medical costs associated with STDs in the United States are estimated at $16.4 billion annually.
It seemed for a while after the AIDS epidemic really blew up that people were making better choices about birth control and infection prevention, but the last couple of years I have seen things that make me wonder if we are becoming complacent again, particularly young people.
The scary thing about STDs now is there are several strains that used to be fairly easy to treat but have become treatment resistant, meaning you could carry them around for the rest of your life.
If you feel you may have been exposed to an STD or if you have a rash or a discharge or anything unusual going on with your genital area, always see a health care provider immediately. Don't let worry or embarrassment affect your health or your life span.
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