It’s April, and known to few, it’s national STD awareness month. When is the last time you were tested?
National STD awareness month is an observance by the Center for Disease Control to help spark talk across the country about the dangers, prevalence and need for testing in the U.S.
Last year there were 19 million new STD cases costing upwards of 19 billion dollars and even more in long-term care. Half of the new infections were people under the age of 25 and in one study by the CDC they found that 1 in 4 young teen girls ages 14 to 19 were infected with at least one STD in a 2003-2004 survey as you can see by the graph below from 2002.
Regardless of race or gender, data show that sexually active teens and young adults are at an increased risk for STDs when compared to older adults.
The good news is that most STDs are treatable, and many are curable – early detection through testing is key. Yet, stigma, inconsistent or incorrect condom use, access to health care, and a combination of other factors contribute to high rates of STDs among teens and young adults, said the CDC.