HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Over the past 8 years, cases of sexually transmitted diseases among young people from the age of 14 have increased nationwide.
Pediatrician Rhonda Graham emphasizes the importance of education and advances in testing that are more comfortable and useful than they have been in the past.
Why is getting an STD test not a priority for many?
Graham: I think most young people don’t think that could happen to them, educated or not.
What would you say to someone infected with an STD who might be embarrassed or worried?
Graham: I would just let them know how common it is. And it’s not something that should be embarrassing or shameful. It’s just a matter of giving them the education they need so they can protect themselves and they can heal themselves and it’s a matter of health. You know, it’s just one more thing we’re going to do to make sure we’re living healthy, efficient lifestyles.
The three most common STDs
You can get gonorrhea by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has gonorrhea. A pregnant person people with gonorrhea can pass the infection on to their baby during delivery.
Chlamydia is a common STD that can cause infection in both men and women. It can cause permanent damage to a woman’s reproductive system. It can do it difficult or impossible to get pregnant later. Chlamydia can also cause life-threatening ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy that occurs outside the womb).
Trichomoniasis (or “trich”) is a very common sexually transmitted disease (STD). It is caused by infection with a protozoan parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis. Although the symptoms of the disease vary, most people with the parasite cannot tell that they are infected.
All Urgent care for children locations offer free STD testing. All tests are non-invasive and now only take at least 20 minutes to get results and a treatment plan.