Facts about STDs
According to the CDC, every year 19 million new cases of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are diagnosed, making STDs one of the most concerning health challenges for Americans. Every year, sexually transmitted diseases cost the American health care system $17 billion and that dollar figure does not take into account immediate and long-term health consequences.
Did you know that “if you or your partner have one STD, your chances of contracting another STD are greatly increased?”
Did you know that “30% of people infected with Syphilis show no signs or symptoms?”
Did you know that genital herpes will infect 1 in 4 young adults under the age of 35?
Did you know that “50% of all men and 75% of all women with Chlamydia do not even know that they are infected and show no visible signs?” (STD Testing Services)
The good news is that these diseases are treatable and in many cases curable, but if a person doesn’t get tested for STDs they will never get the treatment they need.
Getting an STD Test
Unfortunately, even though the CDC recommends that both sexually active men and women (particularly if they engage in unprotected sex with multiple partners) get tested for sexually transmitted diseases, it is not automatically done at an annual physical. The patient must request the tests.
“Don’t assume that you’re receiving STD testing every time you have a gynecological exam or Pap test.” (MayoClinic)
The kind of STD test you should get depends on a certain set of risk factors.
You should get tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea annually if:
• You’re a sexually active woman/girl under the age of 25
• You’re a woman over 25 who has sex with multiple sexual partners or has just started with a new partner
• You’re a sexually active homosexual man
If you’re between the ages of 13 and 64 the CDC recommends that you get tested for HIV, syphilis and hepatitis at least once during routine medical check-ups, and every year if you have:
• Tested positive for gonorrhea or chlamydia
• Had more than one sexual partner since the previous test