According to STD testing statistics, there are an estimated 20 million new cases of STDs annually. This alarming number illustrates just how important it is for anyone who’s sexually active to proactively work to prevent the spread of STDs. Below are three tips to help you stay safe.
How to Prevent the Spread of STDs
1. Use Condoms
When used correctly every time you have sex, condoms are effective at preventing the spread of STDs. They’re also 98% effective at preventing pregnancy. No matter what type of intercourse you’re having, always use a male or female condom or dental dam. Since many STDs are transmitted through bodily fluids, the barrier a condom provides is essential to keeping you and your partner safe.
2. Ask About the HPV Vaccine
HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease, affecting some 79 million Americans. Most of those infected are in their teens and early 20s. Fortunately, there’s an HPV vaccine available that’s both safe and successful at preventing the spread of certain strains of the virus. Although eligibility recommendations vary, the vaccine is approved for use by many young adults up to age 26.
3. Get Tested Regularly
If you’re sexually active, incorporate STD testing into your healthcare routine. Many sexually transmitted conditions have symptoms that don’t manifest for weeks or even years, while others have no symptoms at all, so you could be passing along a disease without even knowing it. It’s especially important to get tested regularly if you have multiple sexual partners. Be sure to discuss your sexual history with all partners and STD testing professionals.
With vigilance and the steps above, you can do your part to stop the spread of STDs. If you or someone you love needs STD testing, trust Rochester Regional Health Laboratories. Since 1975, they’ve been providing rapid, accurate, and convenient lab tests to health care clients throughout the Monroe County area. To find a local testing site, call (800) 525-5227, visit them online, or contact them via Facebook or Twitter.