Every day. Everywhere.

A lot of people and businesses work hard at grabbing your attention on what you should wear or hear or watch or follow. Just a click away are tips to improve you—stuff to buy for better skin and hair, and food and exercise for better health. You get taking care of yourself. What you might not know a lot about is the other self care—the one that can play a bigger role in your life. It’s not sexy like the people and places you follow, but it’s about sex and raising your IQ on STDs (sexually transmitted diseases).

20,000,000 new STD cases in 2017.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the current trend in the U.S. is about 20-million STD cases in a year. About 50% of that huge number are people in the  15–24 age group—this same group makes up only a quarter (about 27%) of the sexually active population.

STDs are diseases that can be passed from one person to another through sex (vaginal, oral and anal) and intimate touch like heavy petting. STDs are common, and there are many types: chlamydia, genital herpes, gonorrhea, syphilis, hepatitis B, HPV and HIV.

While STDs are health concerns for all people, it’s mostly women who suffer from life-changing health problems—in the U.S., untreated STDs cause infertility in at least 24,000 women yearly. Untreated syphilis results in infant deaths in up to 40% of births. Delay of treatment is the problem, and it’s common, because a woman can have an STD and feel perfectly fine with no symptoms.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Know Your Florida County: Total Gonorrhea, Chlamydia and Infectious Syphilis Cases, Top Ten Rate by Year

Nearly 2.3 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis were diagnosed in the U.S. in 2017. Chlamydia was the most common with more than 1.7 million cases reported—45% were women 15–24 years old (CDC). In the past five years, bacterial STDs (chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis) have increased by 32% in Florida with over 140,000 cases reported in 2017.

Chart Source: Florida Health CHARTS

Know Your Florida County: Congenital Syphilis Cases by Year

Between 2013 and 2017, congenital syphilis (CS) has more than doubled in the U.S. (CDC). Florida reported 93 cases of CS in 2017—that’s an increase of about 145% during a five-year period (from 38 to 93 cases). If the mothers had been tested and treated for syphilis during their first and third trimesters, their babies may have been born CS-free.

Chart Source: Florida Health CHARTS

Talk to your health care provider.

Ask about STD testing, especially if you think you’re at risk. Also, ask about the HPV vaccine.

Testing is done by taking blood samples or swabs.

Don’t assume STD testing is part of your annual exam—the Pap test screens for cervical cancer but not other types of cancer or STDs.

Treatments can prevent serious health consequences like infertility.

STDs can be treated with antibiotics, vaccines and other medicines.

Source: CDC

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