Each April ASHA recognizes STD Awareness Month. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
• There are 20 million new cases of sexually transmitted diseases (also referred to as sexually transmitted infections) in the U.S. every year
• The medical costs for these new cases are $16 billion
• Adding the new cases each year with existing infection, there are an estimated 110 million total STDs among Americans.
People may not know they have an STD because many do not have symptoms, and they can cause serious health consequences if they are not detected and treated appropriately. For example, chlamydia left untreated can put a woman at risk for pelvic inflammatory disease, a condition that can lead to infertility.
To spread the message about the importance of STD testing ASHA is continuing the “YES Means TEST™” initiative to educate and empower young
adults who say “YES” to sexual activity also to say “YES” to getting tested for STDs.
STD testing can be confidential and free or low-cost, and common STDs, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea, are usually effectively treated with antibiotics. For more information about STDs, “YES Means TEST” or how and where to get tested, visit www.yesmeanstest.org. Join the conversation online with #YESmeansTEST.
Talking about STIs and Sexual Health
- How to Talk to Your Kids about STDs and Sexual Health
- Ten Things to Ask Your Healthcare Provider
- Healthcare Professionals: Herpes and HPV Toolkits plus patient counseling guides
Reduce Your Risk
- Your Safer Sex Toolbox has the scoop on the different types of condoms (and how to use them), lubricants and more
Take Charge of Your Sexual Health
- Sexual Health TV: ASHA’s videos give you the facts about STDs and condoms
- Learn about STI tests and find a clinic near you
- Say Yes To PrEP: along with condoms, pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP) is an HIV-prevention option for those at higher risk that involves taking a pill once daily. Visit #SayYesToPrEP to find out if PrEP is right for you and search for clinics in your area.
We’ll add new items all month long so check back often. Also join our #STDMonth18 Twitter chat on Thursday, April 12th at 2:00 pm ET. We’ll highlight tons of resources and answer YOUR questions (Tweet them to us @infoASHA).