The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office on Women’s Health states “Sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) are also called sexually transmitted diseases or STDs”.
April is STI/STD Awareness Month.
STDs are extremely common and primarily affect young people. STDs are on the rise. STIs are spread through vaginal, oral or anal sex. There are additional ways to transmit STIs, but sex remains the primary cause.
The Office on Women’s Health reports that more than 9 million women in the United States are diagnosed with an STI each year.
Untreated STDs can lead to infertility, pelvic pain and many other health issues.
According to the CDC Fact Sheet on STDs and HIV: “People who have STDs are more likely to get HIV, when compared to people who do not have STDs."
Protecting yourself is as easy as abstinence.
Prior to having sex, you and your potential partner should be tested for STDs.
Without exception, you should ALWAYS USE PROTECTION,
If you are looking for resources, you can visit the CDC for information on getting tested with confidentiality and many times, free of charge or you can view the STDTesting.org's "What You Should Know About STD Testing's Guide" by clicking here.
Some STDs can be treated with medications to control symptoms and eradicate the STD. Others, even if incurable, can be treated with medications to control active symptoms.
If you refuse to be treated for STDs, you need to understand the risks involved. Permanent risks. Further, your chances of getting HIV increase with untreated STDs.
Remember! If you have been treated for an STD, you can pass an STD back and forth if you have sex with someone who has an STD.
It is worth repeating that not all STDs or STIs have symptoms associated with it.
You need to be tested.
Be informed. Be proactive. Know the different type of STDs (both curable and incurable), and how they are passed back and forth.
Communication about serious topics is tough at the best of times. Open communication with a potential partner PRIOR to engaging in sex can be a key indicator if having sex with this partner is the right thing to do.
Never be embarrassed to discuss sexual issues and questions that you have with your physician. While sometimes uncomfortable, being armed with vital information can help prevent lifelong issues associated with this health crisis.
Here is one more scary fact that will hopefully cause you to understand just how very dangerous STDs can be:
Did you know that you can get STDs in your eyes?
The CDC has an STD and HIV Fact Sheet on their website that very clearly gives critical information that EVERYONE that is having sex needs to know.
While most STDs are found in our younger people, the rise in STDs and STIs are across the board, including our elderly population.
When we published our post “A Raincoat? At My Age?/STDs In Seniors," we received quite a bit of feedback. Positive and negative. Our younger subscribers cannot bring themselves to think of Grandma and Grandpa having an active sex life.
We also heard from subscribers who have lost spouses and are in retirement communities and assisted living facilities and are now back in the dating world.
Many of our elderly population have multiple and ongoing health issues requiring multiple medications. These conditions could be significantly worsened by STDs.
A lot of the time, unless we bring up the subject of sex, our physicians concentrate on the health issues they are treating for, and do no inquire about sexual activity.
Sex education for all patients should be part of any consultation/examination.
Ask to be tested before you become sexually active with a new partner.
At any age, this preventative measure can help stop the spread of STDs.
Risky sexual behavior can cause long-term and sometimes permanent repercussions.