When you are sexually active, pregnancy is usually the greatest concern. You may be afraid of what your parents or boyfriend will do if you become pregnant. You may also be concerned that you will not be able to finish school or pursue your career. While pregnancy is something to be very concerned about, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are equally, if not more, worrisome. You are at risk for pregnancy if you have sex around ovulation (about 3 days a month), but you are at risk for getting an STI every time you have sex.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends STD testing for all sexually active people, and treatment right away if your test is positive. The infections associated with this epidemic are all preventable.
The CDC estimates that almost half of the 26 million new STI cases in the US were among young adults aged 15-24, with 1 in 5 of all people in the US having an STI on any given day.
(Source: CDC – https://www.cdc.gov/std/life-stages-populations/adolescents-youngadults.htm)
If you think you have been exposed to an STI/STD, it is important to get tested. Some common symptoms of STIs include unusual odor, discharge from the vagina or penis, burning during urination, and sores on the genitals. However, many STIs do not cause any symptoms and it is possible to spread these diseases and infections without ever having symptoms.
Treatment for some diseases will be offered without expense to the client, while referrals for other treatment may be necessary.
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