When’s the last time you went to your local health center and got an STD screen? If you can’t remember then maybe you’d like to know that in 2017 there were 1.6 million cases of chlamydia diagnosed, 470,000 cases of gonorrhea, and roughly 25,000 cases of primary and secondary syphilis.
“Getting tested is important for your future by making sure your body is in tip top shape,” said Tanya Tatum, director of Student Health Services at Florida A&M.
Although the three diseases listed above may be curable, they have many health-altering causes if untreated. Stillbirths and infertility, are just some of the many outcomes that can occur from these diseases. These decreases can also increase the risk for HIV transmission.
It is important to get tested for STDs to allow your partner who you are having sexual contact with know your status. In some cases people are too scared to check or just don’t even bother to care to.
"Everyone should realize the importance of getting checked and not risk being another percentage of the negative numbers,” said Chyna Daniels, a pre-nursing student at FAMU.
Syphilis rates have increased by a whopping 18 percent from 2015-16. Most cases of syphilis occur through gay, bisexual and men who have sex with men also known as MSM. Although, 36 percent increased among women and 28 percent increased among newborns.
“Get tested, know your status, and protect the ones you care about,” said Perry Brown, professor of public health at FAMU.
With STDs at an all time high, prevention is needed more than ever. Getting out in the community and making sure people get tested could very much decrease the chances of one spreading STDs.
If more attention was devoted to prevention against STDs throughout the community, it could be effective when trying to help younger people understand the issue’s importance. Although every person can’t be reached, it would be the start of reversing an epidemic. There may be a disconnection when it comes to adults trying to speak to the youth about the importance of getting tested. So maybe it’s not about what’s being said but more of how.