April is National STD Awareness Month, an annual observance to bring up the social issue of STDs in the U.S.
Every year, according to the Center for Disease Control, an estimated 20 million people will contract a new sexually transmitted infection. Almost half of these new infections will be in patients under the age of 25.
That's the important part right there. Half of the newly infected people in the U.S. will be between the ages of 15 and 25. Our children are facing more threats than I ever did and need to be educated to make the right decisions.
As much as it's an uncomfortable conversation, we all need to properly educate our children and teach them the consequences that come with becoming an adult.
Chlamydia is the most common infection in the U.S. with 1,412,791 reported infections in 2011 and if left untreated can cause infertility in both women and men. Chlamydia often shows little to no symptoms which can be dangerous as it can be left to cause more problems as well as get passed along unknowingly to more partners.
HPV is an STD that has recently been found that cause at least half of all cervical cancer cases, is extremely prevalent (isn't often reported, so there are no reliable stats) and often shows no symptoms as well.
Those are just two examples of very common infections that show no symptoms and can cause life-long issues and even in extreme cases death.
The CDC recommends that all active people be tested yearly and that includes are younger generation that often have no insurance and don't see a physician regularly. Without symptoms they may not get tested until the problem become worse and at that point can be problematic.
So when is the last time you have been tested? Have you talked to your kids about testing and the symptoms of STDs? It's a tough subject but may save many problems in the future.