Summer is just around the corner, and many teens are looking forward to relaxing, hanging out with friends, and maybe even spending some time alone with that special someone. Before you get too cozy, you should learn a little bit more about STDs and how to protect yourself. Spring is a perfect time to educate yourself about your risks, raise awareness about the importance of getting tested and go get yourself tested for any possible STDs you may have.
One of the most important parts of STD prevention is education. Many organizations, such as MTV’s Get Yourself Tested have started campaigns to raise awareness about STD risks. The more aware you are of your risks, the less likely you will be to develop a disease. How much do you know about your chances of getting an STD? Here are some statistics to keep in mind when choosing to keep yourself safe:
-Each year, there is an estimated 19 million cases of STDs in the U.S. Nearly half of those cases are sexually active people between the ages of 15 and 24.
-1 in 2 sexually active people will get an STD by the age of 25.
-STDs are not only passed through intercourse. Some may spread through oral sex as well. It’s important to be aware of your partner’s history, keeping yourself safe during any sexual contact.
-STDs such as Chlamydia, which is the most common STD in the U.S. with over 3 million people infected each year, have little to no symptoms. This makes it easy for someone to carry a disease and not even know it, evidently passing it on to their partner.
-Research has found that it is necessary for teens to be checked for HIV. 1 in 2 infected teens aren’t aware that they have the disease.
-Although there isn’t a cure for all, there is a treatment for 100% of STDs. The earlier you detect an infection, the easier it will be to treat. All STDs can be controlled and most can be cured through the use of different medicines. Four STDs that are currently incurable are Hepatitis B, Genital Herpes, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
STD awareness is an important part of your sexual health. There are several locations where you could receive confidential, free or low cost STD tests. Find a center in your area and take control over your sexual health by getting you and your partner tested.