April is STD Awareness Month
Get the Facts, Take Control of Your Health
Surging STDs Endanger the Health of Too Many
STDs have come charging back across the nation. Since 2013, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis have all sharply increased – with more than two million of these infections reported in 2017 alone. Today, as these STDs continue to surge, we face a climbing number of babies born with syphilis, an increasing risk of infertility and getting or giving HIV, and the looming threat of untreatable gonorrhea.
It’s not all bad news: There are many ways to prevent STDs, and fortunately, most infections are curable and all are treatable.
Each April, we observe STD Awareness Month to spread the word about what sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are and how they impact people’s lives, as well as to reach communities about why it’s so important to prevent, test for, and treat these infections.
Time for Action: Let’s Work Together to Combat Rising STD Rates
Knowing more about STDs is a great first step, but action is how we overcome these worrisome trends. Everyone can get involved: CDC and other federal organizations, community leaders, health departments, national and community-based organizations, healthcare providers, and individuals.
To help, CDC updated four of its most popular STD Awareness Month campaigns – allowing partners to tailor their outreach activities to better fit their local burden, needs, and audiences. The following is an overview of the available campaigns, as well as links to additional resources and ways to get involved:
- GYT: Get Yourself Tested encourages young people to get tested and treated for STDs and HIV to protect their health and that of their partners. This includes clearly laying out the facts to clear up false assumptions and misconceptions about how STDs are spread, prevented, and treated. GYT also answers common questions like “Which STD tests should I get?” and “How do I find testing near me?”
- Talk. Test. Treat. encourages individuals and healthcare providers to take three simple actions to protect their health, the health of their partners, and that of their patients. Here’s how all three actions connect to better sexual health: having open and honest discussions with your sex partnerExternal, healthcare provider, or patient (TALK); getting tested or recommending STD testing (TEST); and getting treated or prescribing treatment (TREAT).
- Syphilis Strikes Back is devoted exclusively to promoting the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of syphilis. It is especially focused on newborn babies, pregnant women, and gay and bisexual men, as well as on healthcare providers who can help reduce syphilis in these hard-hit communities.
- Treat Me Right highlights the importance of fostering a trusting relationship between healthcare providers and patients. It encourages patients to take control of their healthExternal by asking providers for what they need. At the same time, it arms providers with the information that they need to treat patients right – from detecting an infection and selecting the correct treatment regimen to engaging with patientsCdc-pdfExternal in a way that makes them feel heard and respected.
CDC also makes a number of STD prevention, treatment and care resources available throughout the year.
It’s time for action. Working together, we CAN reverse these trends, protect ourselves, and protect one another. Let’s get to it!