Every year, 1 in every 4 teens contracts an STD/STI. Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) Awareness Month offers support, education, and awareness to individuals about sexually transmitted infections.
What is a Sexually Transmitted Infection?
Sexually transmitted infections (STI) are passed from one person to another during unprotected sexual contact. Most new cases of sexually transmitted infections occur among people ages 15 to 24 years old. Each year, there are nearly 3 million new cases of chlamydia, many of which are in adolescents and young adults.
• Crabs (pubic lice)
• Genital herpes
• Genital warts
• Human papillomavirus (HPV)
Symptoms may vary depending on the infection. For sexually transmitted infections there are either no symptoms or few symptoms. Here are a few common symptoms to look out for:
• Lower abdominal pain
• Genital itching
• Irregular growths (warts) in genital area
• Sores or blisters either on the genitals or on/around the anus, or mouth
Exams that are used for STI screenings are:
• Blood test
• Urine test
• Fluid/ tissue sample
• Pelvic and physical exam
Treatment varies depending on the STI. Some sexually transmitted infections are cured by medication or injection. However, not all STIs are curable, but symptoms can be reduced with medicine.
• Using condoms during sexual activity
• Getting vaccinated for STIs such as HPV and Hepatitis B
• Limit your number of sex partners
• Getting tested
• Becoming monogamous
• Women should not douche because it can remove some of the normal bacteria that protects against infection.