April is STD Awareness Month

This month, while you’re waiting for the rain showers to pass and spring to fully arrive, Maternal & Family Health Services and the CDC want to raise awareness about the impact of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in your community.  We also want to highlight the importance of practicing safe sex and having an open conversation about your sexual health with your health care provider.

While the CDC notes that infection rates for many STDs are dropping across the U.S., there are still many cases that are left untreated (and 19 million new cases each year), and some populations are at a greater risk. While STDs affect people of all races, ages and sexual orientations, those that have trouble affording quality health care, or those who have not been educated on STD safety have an increased risk of catching an STD.

So what can you do to help lower your risk of catching an STD? First, if you are sexually active, get screened once a year for common STDs at a family planning center near you.  Encourage your partner to do the same, and discuss a safe sex plan with them. Talk to a health care professional to learn your risks and create a plan to protect yourself. The more you learn about STDs, the better you’ll be able to stay safe, healthy, and in control of your reproductive health!