April is National STD Awareness Month and the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) is highlighting why testing and safer sex practices are important.
Currently young people ages 15 to 24 account for 19 million new cases of STDs in the United States per year, which is about 2 times the population of the entire state of Michigan.
A bunch of national campaigns are honoring National STD Awareness Month through parties, social media, and website outreach to encourage STD prevention and testing among people that are 15 to 24. – find the links below 🙂
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is also highlighting STD Awareness by giving recommendations on how we can promote STD awareness in our community and avoid transmission through open dialogue and safer sex practices.*
- Encourage STD testing among members in your community
- Adhere to screening recommendations – the CDC recommends that sexually active individuals get tested once a year or every 6 months for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis and HIV.
- Don’t judge (one of my favorite saying) – because of the stigma round STDs and sexual orientation, it is important to bring awareness to STDs and prevention while allowing people to remain comfortable with their sexuality.
- Be able to openly discuss with your partner you sexual history or your concerns regarding prior STDs. It is also important to have open communication about sexual pleasure and what is and is not working for the both of you. (communicating about sensitive topics are not always easy but it will definitely allow you to work out the kinks (pun intended) and provide a better sexual experience).
*Note that these recommendations were modified from the original CDC recommendations for health care providers.
Again this month is National STD Awareness Month. Do you plan on doing anything within your community centered on STD prevention or awareness? Look out for more information on upcoming HOPE parties that do just that! Or if you are interested in participating in STD Awareness Month and want to through a HOPE party! Let me know! (or maybe put Susan Franzen/YOUR Center email)