Get Healthy and Ready for the Year Ahead
Pride season is not the only time of celebrations in the LGBTQ+ community. Events and celebrations happen all year long, so take important steps before, during, and after any celebration to keep yourself healthy!
Visit your health care provider or find a health clinic to stay up to date with your sexual health care. Discuss the types of sex you have so that your provider can offer testing and prevention services, including vaccines, that are right for you.
- If you don’t know your HIV status, get tested near where you live, work, or play, including options for ordering free self-testing kits. No matter your results, there are steps you can take to stay healthy. If you don’t have HIV, you have options to prevent HIV, including finding a PrEP provider to see if PrEP is right for you. If you test positive, you can find a care provider and live well with HIV. HIV treatment will keep you healthy and prevents you from transmitting HIV to your sex partners.
- If you are sexually active, getting tested for other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), like gonorrhea and syphilis, is one of the most important things you can do to protect your health. You can also find STI testing sites near you and learn more about how to prevent STIs.
- Get tested for viral hepatitis and consider vaccinations for hepatitis A and B.
- New cases of mpox were reported in the United States during the spring and summer of 2023. Learn more about mpox and be sure to get your two-dose mpox vaccine. Unvaccinated people and people who have not received both doses who could benefit from vaccine may still be at risk. The best protection against mpox occurs 2 weeks after the second shot, so plan ahead. In the current outbreak, mpox is often transmitted through close, sustained physical contact, almost exclusively associated with sexual contact. If you have symptoms of mpox, visit a healthcare provider and get tested, even if you have been vaccinated.
- Be knowledgeable of other infections like shigella and meningococcal disease, and how to prevent them.
CDC is posting updates on the respiratory illness season every week. Vaccination against flu, COVID-19, and RSV is the best way to reduce your risk of having severe illness caused by these diseases.
Keep reading: How to Get Your Flu, COVID-19, and RSV Vaccines
If travelling, check out travel or health-related advisories for your destination a month before you go and again closer to your trip.
To address the increasing number of overdose deaths related to both prescription opioids and illicit drugs, CDC created a website to educate people who use drugs, or are in environments where drugs might be used, about the dangers of illicitly manufactured fentanyl, the risks and consequences of mixing drugs, the lifesaving power of naloxone, and the importance of reducing stigma around recovery and treatment options. It is important to be aware that fentanyl is often added to other drugs, including stimulants like cocaine, which makes drugs cheaper, more powerful, more addictive, and more dangerous.
Contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline if you are experiencing mental health-related distress or are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support.
- Call or text 988
- Chat at 988lifeline.org
Connect with a trained crisis counselor. 988 is confidential, free, and available 24/7/365.
Visit the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline for more information at 988lifeline.org.