April is Sexually Transmitted Disease Awareness Month. Sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs (sometimes called sexually transmitted infections, or STIs) affect people of all ages, backgrounds, and from all walks of life. In the U.S. alone there are approximately 20 million new cases each year, about half of which occur among youth ages 15-24 years.
STD or STI? What’s the difference?
Diseases that are spread through sexual contact are usually referred to as sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs for short. In recent years, however, many experts in this area of public health have suggested replacing STD with a new term—sexually transmitted infection, or STI.
Why the change? The concept of “disease,” as in STD, suggests a clear medical problem, usually some obvious signs or symptoms. But several of the most common STDs have no signs or symptoms in the majority of persons infected. Or they have mild signs and symptoms that can be easily overlooked. So the sexually transmitted virus or bacteria can be described as creating an “infection,” which may or may not result in “disease.” This is true of chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, and human papillomavirus (HPV), to name a few.
For this reason, for some professionals and organizations the term “disease” is being replaced by “infection.” Many organizations have begun using the term STI and it appears in hundreds of published documents
Are STDs dangerous?
They can be! STDs are among the most important public health problems in the nation. Certain STD’s can cause infertility, premature and still births, infant pneumonia, eye infections leading to blindness, and even death. Some STDs are associated with certain types of cancer.
Get Tested for STD’s
What there is clear consensus around is that anyone who has had unprotected sex or who suspects that he or she may have contracted an STI/STD should be tested. Not only are they at risk, but as we know, most sexually transmitted diseases and infections are highly contagious.
Here at AFC Urgent Care Danbury we have confidential STD testing, with no appointment necessary. Don’t wait to be tested. If you have had unprotected sexual relations and think you may be at risk for an STD/STI come in today, have a private consultation with one of our providers and get tested. You can also ask questions of our providers ahead of time.
GYT: (Get Yourself Tested)
It’s worth doing for the peace of mind, for your health, as well as for the health of anyone who might might have infected you or who you may have infected.
2 convenient Danbury locations: 2 Main Street, or 100 Mill Plain Road.
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