STD Awareness Month
Even though education and prevention are prevalent, sexually transmitted diseases are “charging back across the nation,” according to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC).
Cases of syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea have all increased notably, contributing to issues including infertility, babies born with serious diseases and increased transmission among sexual partners. Minnesota is part of this epidemic, with a 74 percent spike in syphilis cases in five years, according to the Minnesota Department of Health, and 30,000 cases of STDs reported in the state in 2017.
To combat this trend, the CDC observes STD Awareness Month in April to spread the word about what sexually transmitted diseases are and how they can impact people’s lives. The message also focuses on prevention, testing and treatment.
At Clinic Sofia, we test pregnant patients for gonorrhea, chlamydia, hepatitis B and C, syphilis and HIV with initial prenatal labs. For women who are not pregnant, we recommend gonorrhea and chlamydia for those 25 years old and younger and those with risk factors such as multiple new partners and known exposure after age 25. The CDC recommends HIV testing for everyone at least once in their adult lives.
“If you have concerns about any of your risk factors, please talk to your doctor, who can recommend the appropriate tests and treatment, if needed,” said Dr. Erin Stevens. “In addition to testing, we encourage communication and conversation around STDs – being open with your sexual partners and your physicians while taking control of your health and wellness when it comes to relationships.”