Nearly 20 million new sexually transmitted infections occur in the United States every year costing the American healthcare system nearly $16 billion in direct medical costs alone, says a report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). America’s youth shoulder a substantial burden of these infections. CDC estimates that half of all new STDs in the country occur among young men and women aged 15 to 24.
The high incidence of STIs in the general population suggests that many Americans are at risk of exposure to STDs, underscoring the need for prevention. Despite this news, there are effective ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat STDs. STD screening and early diagnoses are essential in preventing transmission and the long term health consequences of STDs.
Abstaining from sex, reducing the number of sexual partners, and consistently and correctly using condoms are all effective prevention strategies. Safe, effective vaccines are also available to prevent hepatitis B and some types of the human papillomavirus (HPV) that cause disease and cancer. And for all individuals who are sexually active – particularly young people – STI screening and prompt treatment (if infected) are critical to protect a person’s health and prevent transmission to others.
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that can have very serious complications when left untreated, but it is simple to cure with the right treatment. It’s divided into three stages with primary and secondary (P&S) being the most infectious stages of the disease. Without appropriate treatment, long-term infection can result in severe medical problems affecting the heart, brain, and other organs of the body. Having syphilis also makes it easier to get HIV.
At one point, syphilis was almost gone. Now, it’s back with a vengeance. According to the CDC, the number and rate of cases is higher than it’s been in more than 20 years. If syphilis isn’t treated, it can cause severe health problems affecting the brain, eyes, heart, and other organs. Syphilis can be cured with the right treatment. Find out more about preventing and treating syphilis HERE.
The Lowdown on Preventing STDs