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Are You at Risk for STDs and STIs?

Could you be at risk for STDs and STIs? Understanding the answer to this question is important to help protect you and your health. 

Sexually transmitted infections are one of the major health challenges faced in our country today according to the Centers for Disease Control, with 1 in 5 people in the US having an STI (an estimated 20 million new infections happening each year) and almost half of new cases being among 15-24-year-olds. And, you drastically increase your risks with each additional sexual partner.

“When you have sex with someone, you are having sex with everyone they have had sex with for the last ten years, and everyone they and their partners have had sex with for the last ten years.’’
– C. Everrett Koop, M.D., Former U.S. Surgeon General

If you are sexually active, you are at risk, as STIs can pass from person to person in blood, semen, or vaginal and other bodily fluids. According to The Mayo Clinic, they can also spread in ways other than sexual contact, such as to infants during pregnancy or childbirth. STIs can also spread through blood transfusions or shared needles.

Having an abortion with an untreated STI can also lead to serious health risks. Women who have an untreated STD (like chlamydia or gonorrhea) are up to 23% more likely to develop Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) following an abortion procedure.

STIs don’t always cause symptoms. A person can get sexually transmitted infections from another person who seems healthy and may not even know they have an infection. This is why it’s important to understand your risks.

What About Condoms?

Condoms do not provide complete protection from STDs and STIs, and infections can occur in both males and females whether or not a condom is used. If used correctly and consistently, they may reduce the risk of transmission of infections. However, research shows condom use errors occur in up to 40% of sexual encounters. 

Condom use errors occur in up to 40% of sexual encounters. Knowing your risks protects your health.

Testing for STDs and STIs and learning about the risks associated with them will help you make an informed decision about your health. If you are sexually active, you should be tested for STD/STIs regularly.

At Hope Women’s Center, we provide free STD and STI testing, as well as limited treatment options. Take charge of our health by making an appointment today.

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