April is National STI Awareness Month. Part of prevention is educating the public of the risks of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis.
It’s especially important to target young men and women ages 15-24 years of age as well as gay and bisexual men who have sex with other men because they are at the greatest risk.
The Three Ts
This year’s STI Awareness Month theme is Talk. Test. Treat. The only way to avoid contracting an STI or spreading it to a partner is to talk candidly about the matter. Then, all parties should be tested to make sure they do not have a disease that they’ll pass on to another person. Using protection during each and every sexual encounter lessens the likelihood of contracting an STI.
No Visible Symptoms
Many STIs have no visible symptoms. They can be passed on to another person without you even knowing it. That’s why it’s very important to take charge of your physical health and well-being during STI Awareness Month and every other month of the year. Do not engage in risky behavior and by all means, use condoms and contraceptives every time you make sexual contact.
Pregnancy and STIs
Women who are pregnant can pass an STI to their child at the time of birth. STI Awareness Month is a time where this topic is addressed frequently. Women who don’t believe they are at risk often are because they don’t know they have a STI and therefore aren’t being treated for it at the time they deliver their babies.
Promoting Good Sexual Health
STI Awareness Month is an essential part of promoting good sexual health. By encouraging young people to take an active stance in protecting themselves and the partners they have sexual intercourse with, agencies around the country help prevent STIs from spreading and becoming an even bigger problem than they are today. STI Awareness Month helps people take good care of their bodies by promoting safer sexual practices.