Friday, April 13, 2012

Testing For Sexually Transmitted Diseases

19 Million New Sexually Transmitted Diseases In Youths Aged 15 To 24 
April is STD Awareness Month, an annual observance to raise public awareness about the impact of sexually transmitted diseases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention persons from ages 15 to 24 years account for nearly half of the 19 million new STD cases each year. 

To increase STD screening among young persons, CDC is partnering again with MTV, the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and other partners on the GYT (Get Yourself Tested) campaign. Additional information about STDs is available at

STDs affect people of all races, ages, and sexual orientations, though some individuals experience greater challenges in protecting their health. Because many STDs have no symptoms, those at risk need to get tested and find out if they are infected. 

CDC's current testing guidelines include:
-Annual Chlamydia screening for all sexually active women under age 26, as well as older women with risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners.
-Yearly gonorrhea screening for at-risk sexually active women (e.g., women age 25 and younger, those with new or multiple sex partners, and women who live in communities with a high burden of disease).
-Syphilis, HIV, Chlamydia, and hepatitis B screening for all pregnant women, and gonorrhea screening for at-risk pregnant women at the first prenatal visit, to protect the health of mothers and their infants.
-Screening at least once a year for syphilis, Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HIV for all sexually active gay men, bisexual men, and other men who have sex with men.
-HIV screening for everyone between the ages of 13 and 64. Those at high risk for HIV infection (e.g., injection drug users and their sex partners, persons who exchange sex for money or drugs, sex partners of HIV-infected persons, and heterosexuals or men who have sex with men who themselves or whose sex partners have had more than one sex partner since their most recent HIV test) should be screened for HIV at least annually.

Talk with your doctor or health care provider about STDs and ask about recommended vaccinations and testing. Health care providers should take a sexual health history of their patients and follow up with appropriate counseling, vaccination, testing, and treatment.

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