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    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | April 7th, 2019


    There has been an increase in sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the United States. The latest statistics from the CDC is from 2017.

    There were 1.7 million cases of chlamydia which was a 22 % increase since 2013.

    There were 555,608 cases of gonorrhea which was a 67 % increase since 2013.

    There were 30, 644 cases of syphilis which was a 76 % increase since 2013.

    If a sexually transmitted disease is left untreated, it can

    • Increase your risk of giving or getting HIV
      • Cause long-term pelvic and abdominal pain
      • Cause an inability to get pregnant or cause pregnancy complications

    Anyone who has sex is at risk but some groups are more affected:

    • Young people aged 15- 24
    • Gay & bisexual men
    • Pregnant women

    What can we do to slow down the rise of STDs?  TALK.TEST.TREAT.

    TALK – It is important to talk with your partner and your health care provider. Ask your partner if they have ever had a sexually transmitted infection. Ask your partner if they are having any symptoms.  Be open and honest. Do not be afraid to ask your health provider any questions especially when it comes to sex. All questions are welcomed.

    TEST – The only way to know you have a sexually transmitted disease is to get tested. Not all sexually transmitted diseases are associated with symptoms. Also, at the end of a relationship and prior to the beginning of a new relationship, you should get tested for the most common STDs. You can go to a clinic with your partner and both of you can get it done together. Money should not stop you from getting tested. Please click here for low-cost or free clinics.

    TREAT – If you have been diagnosed with an STD, take the medication as prescribed. Take all the medication. Please remember before you have sex with your partner, your partner needs to be treated. Your health care provider might agree to do an expedited partner treatment where they are willing to treat your partner even though your partner is not a patient.

    We have the ability to stop the spread of STDs. We have to be willing to TALK.TEST.TREAT.

    For more information on sexually transmitted diseases, you can check out the CDC’s website by clicking here.

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