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Image is from English Press Release

It that time of the month where we recognize STD Awareness. With over 20 million new infections every year, this is a serious issue that requires more attention from all the institution involved. The cost of STD to the economy is about 16 billion dollars. This is just the amount that goes to direct medical costs.

There was a time in our recent history when STD cases were on the decline, however, the rise in infections is unprecedented and that is why the CDC would like individuals to do three things: Talk, test and treat. It is even more necessary to get tested since, many STDs and STIs do not have symptoms.

So why is there a sudden increase in the rates of the three common STDs-Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. Perhaps it could be because sex seems to be more accessible more than ever before or even perhaps many people are in denial and living with the ideology that “it can’t happen to me”. And if you have an STI or STD, do not worry since you are not alone. It has been estimated that half of all new infections occur in persons of between the ages of 15 to 24.

STDs Versus STIs

The two are similar yet different. A sexually transmitted infection may not have any symptoms and may not even develop to become a disease. However, an infection can still be contagious and can be transmitted through sexual contact.

Myths About STDs

There are those people who believe that having many sexual partners puts them at risk of contracting and STD, it only takes one sexual partner to contract an STD and that is why people are encouraged to take tests if they are sexually active.

There are also those who feel that getting tested once gives them a clean bill of health and do not se the need to get tested again, this is false. As long as you have different sexual partners, you need to get tested often. There are also some STDs that take months to be detected bust still remain contagious.

Options for Getting Tested

It is STD month and this means that you should get out and get tested. It might be embarrassing but just think- You are doing it for yourself and for your sexual partners. Plus doctor-patient confidentiality means that nobody will ever know unless you tell them.

Getting tested doesn’t’t even have to be expensive, there are many free or reduced rates clinics such as Planned Parenthood (yes, men can go as well) where you can be tested for STDs and HIV for free. I think that is important so as to know if that no-condom slip up gave you a bout of syphilis.

In addition, you can get tested without leaving the comfort of your home through the myLAB Box. They send you a five minute package which you send them back and receive lab-certified results and even a free physician treatment consultation.

DO not be afraid of getting tested. Most STDs and STIs are treatable, but you need to get tested first. If you would like to know where you can get tested, visit the CDC website where you will find the nearest place to get a quick and confidential test.