STI Awareness and Testing
Despite existing awareness about Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI), an estimated 19 million new infections surface each year in the United States, Unprotected sex, incorrect use of condoms and lack of education or information about STIs contribute to higher rates in young people ages 15 to 24. Although this group represents only 25% of the sexually-experienced population in the United States, they account for nearly 50% of all STIs. Women’s Health Connecticut is committed to continue STI education and screening for women at risk.
STI Awareness Month is an annual observance designed to draw attention to the impact of sexually transmitted infections and to encourage testing. Promoting sexual health and STI testing among young people is vital because adolescents and young adults are particularly vulnerable. Not all STI’s show symptoms; when symptoms do develop they can be confused with other conditions, so it is very important for those who are sexually active to talk to their healthcare providers about their sexual history and any health changes they notice.
According to the CDC, in 2010 Connecticut alone reported over 10,000 cases of chlamydia and gonorrhea among those 15-24 years of age. Among women, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is the most serious and common complication of STIs and in most cases it occurs as a result of contracting gonorrhea and chlamydia. Every year sexually transmitted infections cost the U.S. health care system $17 billion, and the cost to individuals is even greater with respect to both immediate and long-term health consequences. If ignored or untreated for extended periods of time, some STIs can lead to trouble getting pregnant (infertility)or even AIDS.
Research indicates that adolescent patients feel the Ob Gyn office to be an appropriate place to discuss sexual health; but they prefer that providers initiate these discussions. The physicians, clinicians and staff affiliated with Women’s Health Connecticut strive to create an encouraging environment where patients feel safe and comfortable to talk openly about STIs without fear of judgment. If you need someone to talk to about STIs and treatment, the excellent professional staff in any one of our practices can help.
STIs are treatable; most are curable, but early detection through testing is essential to avoid long-term health risks and continued spreading of the infection.
Learn more about STI’s and how you can maintain your sexual health here.