Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are on the rise in the United States at an alarming rate, particularly among women ages 15-24. This age group accounts for 58% of STDs in Georgia. Not only has the infection rate of STDs increased, but our state has climbed to No. 3 in the country, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC tracked gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV and chlamydia. Of particular concern in Georgia is the increase in gonorrhea and syphilis, both of which can be dangerous if left untreated. And, chlamydia can result in infertility.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and STDs are being spread because people unknowingly have STDs while they have unprotected sex. Most cases of syphilis and gonorrhea have no symptoms and only are found during routine testing. This could be the reason behind the surge of these types of STDs. “Other factors for the rise are less frequent testing, and the stigmas involved with testing and treatment,” said Alexander Millman of the Georgia Department of Public Health.
Testing for STIs and STDs is one of the most important things a people can do to protect their health, according to the CDC. It’s critical that anyone who is sexually active get regularly tested. The best time to get tested is one month after having sexual relations with a new partner.
Women suffer the consequences of sex far more than men, resulting in unintended pregnancy, sexual infections, infertility and even cancer. Sometimes, younger women may feel pressured to have sex before they are mature enough. And, sometimes, they just want to do it without thinking of all the potential consequences.
Young women often are uncomfortable talking about sex, so they may feel too embarrassed to get tested or seek treatment. Many STDs show no symptoms, and, if they do, they might not occur for a long period of time. During this time, an STD can be spread to multiple partners without the person even knowing it, and the cycle continues.
Everyone who is sexually active needs to get regularly tested, especially before he or she is with a new partner. Women of all ages need to be empowered to take control of their health. If you are sexually active, talk with your OB-GYN about regular STD testing.
– Cherokee Women’s Health Specialists, PC has seven OB-GYNs and five advanced practice providers, with offices in Canton and Woodstock.