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Decreasing the Risk of STDs

Fact: At least 1 in every 5 people living in the United States has an STD, and that numbers grows by about 20 million every year.
The importance of prevention, detection and treatment of STDs cannot be stressed enough. Sexually transmitted diseases spread fast, usually without the awareness of those who carry them. The reason for this is that many carriers do not experience the symptoms, so they assume nothing is wrong.
The fact is that most people will not experience symptoms right away, and some may never experience them at all, but STDs get transmitted nonetheless. Below is a list of factors that may put you at risk.
• Being sexually active, especially when it is with more than one person. The greater number of sexual partners, the greater the risk.
• Not using a latex condom when having sex. While other methods protect against pregnancy, only properly used Latex condoms and barriers protect against HIV/AIDS and STDs.
• Douching the vaginal area. This can lead to infection and bacterial vaginosis.
• Having physical or sexual contact with infected areas or sores. This is especially true for syphilis and genital herpes.
• Continuing to have sex after experiencing symptoms. If you feel burning or irritation, consult a doctor as soon as possible before having sex again.
• Having a parent who carries an STD. Even if you have taken all preventative measures, you are still at risk and could possibly spread the STD to others.
• Being of a certain population group. For example, sexually active teenagers, young adults and African Americans have a greater risk of getting gonorrhea.
• Sharing needles or syringes. Many STDs including Hepatitis B can be transmitted through blood, even though it may not be visible on the object.
• Not getting vaccinated. Vaccinations help to prevent HPV, cervical cancer and other STDs that have been spreading rapidly.
• Not getting tested. This goes for you and your partner. Testing and screening is one of the most important ways to prevent both spreading and acquiring STDs.
If you fall into any of the categories above, you may be at risk. If you are pregnant, these risks are even greater because the symptoms can cause the effects to be more serious for you as well as your baby. Most importantly, you must be proactive even if there are no imminent signs of risk. That means get tested often, and get treated immediately.
Fortunately, there are many places to get screenings and tests. For example The Women’s Choice, a clinic in Brooklyn, NY offers easy ways to get blood tests, Pap tests, cervical cancer screenings, urine tests, physical and lab examinations and more. Plus, they offer various treatments including antibiotics and prescription drugs, vaccinations, laser surgery, penicillin injections and surgical removal, as well as follow-up evaluations.
Early detection and treatment are vital, so don’t wait. Get tested as soon as possible: