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Sexual Transmitted Infections Awareness Week: Education and Prevention


Sexual transmitted infections (STIs) are a major public health concern, and educating individuals on how to prevent them is essential. During Sexual Transmitted Infection (STI) Awareness Week, it is important to highlight the importance of STI education and prevention.


What Are the Most Common STIs? Some of the most common STIs include chlamydia, HPV, gonorrhea, syphilis and HIV. Chlamydia affects 1 in 15 sexually active young adults in the United States and is one of the most frequently reported communicable diseases [1]. It can be easily treated with antibiotics if detected early but can cause serious complications if left untreated. Similarly, HPV is also highly contagious and can cause abnormal cervical cells or genital warts [2]. Gonorrhea is another common STI that can affect both men and women, often causing no symptoms but still being transmittable [3]. Finally, HIV and syphilis can lead to severe health consequences such as blindness or organ damage – making prevention all the more important [4].


How Can We Prevent STIs? Education plays an important role in preventing STIs; those who understand the risk factors for acquiring an infection are better equipped to make responsible decisions about sex. Practicing abstinence is one way to avoid getting infected; however, for those who choose to be sexually active there are things they can do to reduce their chances of getting an infection. These include using condoms correctly during every sexual encounter as well as getting tested regularly [5]. Additionally, avoiding sharing needles or having multiple partners increases safety significantly [6].


Raising awareness about STIs during Sexual Transmitted Infection Awareness Week helps spread knowledge about how these infections are contracted and how they can be prevented. This information provides us with an opportunity to prioritize our own sexual health as well as those of our partners so we can all make educated choices while engaging in intimate activities.


Sources

[1]Henry JK et al., “Chlamydial Infections” 2012 Accessed April 3rd 2021 https://www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/stdfact-chlamydia.htm [2]Centers for Disease Control & Preventions (CDC), “HPV” 2021 Accessed April 3rd 2021 https://www.cdc.gov/hpv/index.html [3] Centers for Disease Control & Preventions (CDC), “Gonorrhea” 2020 Accessed April 3rd 2021 https://www.cdc.gov/std/gonorrhea/stdfact-gonorrhea-detailed.htm [4] World Health Organization (WHO), “HIV & AIDS” 2020 Accessed April 3rd 2021 https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/hiv-aids [5] Henry JK et al., “CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids For Chronic Pain” 2016 Accessed April 3rd 2021https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/65/rr/rr6501e1.htm#TOC_02242016_213617_rptmte213618_07042016_220719_rptme220720_09082016_.P16N7M8CGS13N35JBS9GEU9XRSF6GN?t=1598866083958 [6] US Department of Health & Human Services Office on Women's Health, “STDs & Pregnancy: Prevention Measures” 2017 Accessed April 3rd 2021 https://www



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