First, some bad news. STDs are very common. In fact, STD rates have risen to record highs over the past few years, according to the CDC. Millions of people have an STD, and millions more may have one, but not even be aware of it! Indeed, many STDs can remain asymptomatic for long periods of time. Because of this fact –– as well as the litany of misinformation surrounding the subject –– today we aim to deliver some cogent health advice and clear up the confusion around STDs and STD transmission. Here’s everything you need to know about preventing STDs:
How Are STDs Transmitted?
Unlike other common infections, which can be spread through casual contact, STDs almost always spread as a result of sexual engagement. This includes oral, anal, and vaginal intercourse. Ejaculation does not need to occur for transmission to happen. There is one exception to the rule of casual contact. Herpes can spread through skin-to-skin contact. So it’s possible to contract herpes from a kiss, for instance. Also, conditions like HIV can travel through the blood; this is what makes sharing needles so dangerous.
Who’s at Risk For STDs?
The short answer is that anyone can contract an STD at any point in their life. You’re never too old or too young to get an STD. Having said that, though, there are certain demographics who are particularly at risk for STDs. In general, young people contract STDs at a greater rate than senior citizens. Also, men who have sex with men are more likely to get an STD than the general population. The same can be said of minorities as well. Lastly, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should be very cognizant of their wellness because STDs can spread to their baby during childbirth.
STD Prevention Tips
The simplest way to prevent STDs is to practice abstinence. Beyond that, sexually active individuals can take other steps to protect their well-being. Practicing safe sex is one of the best ways to do that. Proper condom usage is very effective at preventing STDs. However, it’s worth noting that condoms are not 100% effective at stopping STD transmission. In addition to practicing safe sex, sexually active individuals should get tested for STDs on a regular basis. This goes double for people in a new relationship. Fortunately, you can find a Same Day STD testing center in almost every major city.
STDs are serious health conditions that can lead to a number of grave problems like infertility, urethral scarring, nerve damage, blindness, paralysis, or even death. That’s why it’s important for everyone to understand these diseases and to take steps to protect themselves. Keep this advice handy moving forward!