STI Awareness Month April 9 – 15, 2023
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- About 20 percent of the U.S. population – approximately one in five people in the U.S. – had an STI on any given day in 2018, and STIs acquired that year cost the American health care system nearly $16 billion in health care costs alone.
- STIs impact young people the hardest. In the U.S., almost half of all new infections in 2018 were among people aged 15-24.
- Almost all STIs that can be spread via condomless vaginal sex also can be spread through oral and anal sex without a condom.
- You can’t tell if someone has an STI just by looking at them. Many infections don’t cause any symptoms, so the only way to know for sure is to get tested.
- Even if you use birth control, you should still think about STI prevention. Birth control methods like the pill, patch, ring, and IUD are very effective at preventing pregnancy, but they do not protect against STIs and HIV.
- If you are sexually active, you can lower your risk of getting an infection several ways, including by using a condom the right way from start to finish.
STI Awareness Week – April 9th to 15th, 2023 provides an opportunity to raise awareness about sexually transmitted infections, or STIs, and how they impact our lives; reduce STI-related stigma, fear, and discrimination; and ensure people have the tools and knowledge for prevention, testing, and treatment.
At DHD#10 you can get confidential STD testing- that means you do not need a parent or guardian’s consent but we encourage you to go to tell a parent or guardian if you think you need STD testing. STD testing at DHD#10 is available to teens at low or no-cost; cost is based on your income. Services at DHD#10 are LGTBQ friendly.
People with multiple sexual partners, those who think they may have been exposed, those who’ve had unprotected sex with a partner whose health status was unknown, or anyone who has symptoms of an STD should definitely get tested. If you think you have an STD, first off, don’t panic. You should make an appointment to get test right away and hold off on sexual activity until you get tested. To make an appointment call 888-217-3904,
Get Yourself Tested #GYT
If you are sexually active, getting tested for sexually transmitted infections, or STIs, is one of the most important things you can do to protect your health! Have an open and honest conversation with your healthcare provider about your sexual history and STI testing. This will help them understand what STI tests you may need.
Testing positive for an STI is not the end. Many STIs are curable and all are treatable. Get retested! It’s common to get some STIs more than once, especially chlamydia and gonorrhea. You should be retested in 3 months even if you and your partner took medicine.
Talk. Test. Treat.
Talk. Talk openly and honestly to your partner(s) and your healthcare provider about sexual health and sexually transmitted infections, or STIs.
Talk with your partner(s) BEFORE having sex.
- Talk about when you were last tested and suggest getting tested together.
- If you have an STI (like herpes or HIV), tell your partner.
- Agree to only have sex with each other.
- Use condoms the right way for every act of vaginal, anal, and oral sex throughout the entire sex act (from start to finish).
Talk with your healthcare provider about your sex life as it relates to your health. This helps your healthcare provider understand what STI tests you should be getting and how often. Here are a few questions you should expect and be prepared to answer honestly:
- Have you been sexually active in the last year?
- Do you have sex with men, women, or both?
- In the past 12 months, how many sexual partners have you had?
- Do you have anal, oral, or vaginal sex?
- What are you doing to protect yourself from infection?
Test. Get tested. It’s the only way to know for sure if you have an STI. Many STIs don’t cause any symptoms, so you could have one and not know. If you’re having sex, getting tested is one of the most important things you can do to protect your health. Even if you’re pregnant, you can still get an STI. If you’re having sex, you’re still at risk.
Find out what STI care options are available near you. In addition to traditional, in-person visits, other options that may be available include:
- Video or phone appointments with your healthcare provider.
- Express visits allow walk-in STI testing and treatment appointments without a full clinical exam.
- Pharmacies and retail clinics, such as at a grocery store or big-box store, for on-site testing and treatment.
- At-home collection where you collect your own sample and take or mail it to a lab for testing.
Treat. If you test positive for an STI, work with your healthcare provider to get the correct treatment.
Some STIs can be cured with the right medicine, and all STIs are treatable. Make sure your treatment works by doing these things:
- Take all of the medication your healthcare provider prescribes, even if you start feeling better or your symptoms go away.
- Don’t share your medicine with anyone.
- Avoid having sex again until you and your sex partner(s) have all completed treatment.
Your healthcare provider can talk with you about which medications are right for you.