Every year, the number of cases of sexually transmitted diseases has increased, some more than others, but always growing. But why? Is it because there is a lack of information? Numerous sites provide information on STD awareness, testing, and treatment, yet somehow, we see cases increase year after year.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that there are approximately 20 million new STD infections each year – almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24. So I ask again, Are you sexually informed or just winging it?
Here is some general information about some of the more popular STDs. The common ones are gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, and let not forget about Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). If left untreated, it could lead to other complications and even makes it easier for the transmission of HIV.
With those facts, one would think that it would be easy for more individuals to ask questions vital towards the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases and infections and knowing your partner(s) intimately, especially if you are having or will be having sexual intercourse.
Staying sexually informed requires knowing your HIV and STD status, along with getting a wellness check annually, asking your partner(s) about their HIV and STD status. Individuals should use condoms consistently and should be able to discuss current or previous health condition(s) as it relates to their sexual health and intimacy.
These conversations can be challenging, especially during the first few weeks of meeting someone, however the longer you wait and if you become sexually intimate, the more difficult it will be to have those conversations. It may contribute to making unhealthy sexual decisions like not using a condom or other risk-taking behavior. However, being sexually informed will facilitate healthy sexual decision-making about your health and your partners. If not, you are just winging it.
Author: Richardo Jackson