ASHA recognizes April each year as STI Awareness Month. This is an important time in the field of sexual health and STIs. Key provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) kick in that cover preventive health services, including access without a co-pay to Pap tests, HPV tests, contraception and testing/counseling for sexually transmitted infections.
The need for increased testing and education about STIs has never been more important. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
Reducing the number of STIs goes far beyond traditional safer sex methods, as social factors also play a role. Young people, women, sexual minorities and communities of color are especially vulnerable and endure unacceptable high STI rates. During April we’ll explore the issues that drive health disparities so check back often, give us your thoughts, and spread the word about ASHA’s STI Awareness Month resources!
Join us for a Twitter chat on Monday, April 14, 2014 at 2:00pm ET. Bring your questions about STIs (or send them to us in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org). We’ll chat about everything STI related – symptoms, tests, relationships, what to do when first diagnosed, and more!
Anyone who has sex is at risk for STIs, though, even if they only have one partner. Young or old, male or female, in a long-term relationship or fresh to the dating scene, we all need to know how to take charge of our sexual health. A great first step in reducing your risk is getting educated about STIs, and we have plenty of tools here to help you do just that.
Most people think they would know if they had a sexually transmitted infection (STI) . . . wrong! The truth is many of STIs have no signs or symptoms in the majority of people infected. Or they have mild signs that can be easily overlooked. The only way to know if you have an STI is to get tested.
Just enter your zip code in the map below to find a place near you where you can get tested.
Being able to talk to your healthcare provider about your physical health as it relates to your sexual health is absolutely crucial. If you can’t be totally honest about what’s happening with your body and your feelings about it, you won’t be able to get the best care. Your provider should be able to give you straightforward, nonjudgmental feedback and advice about your body and sexual life, but he or she has to start with the whole picture!