April is a wonderful time of year here in Minnesota, the snow is melting and the birds are chirping. But with April comes not only signs of Spring, but several month long health observances, one of which is Sexually Transmitted Infection Awareness. STIs and STDs rose to a new high in Minnesota during 2011 according to the Minnesota Department of Health (the 2012 statistics will be released later this month). The reportable cases of STDs including chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis — rose to 19,547 in 2011, compared to 18,009 in 2010 and 16,912 in 2009.
Getting tested regularly if you are sexually active is the most efficient way to protect both you, and your partner from spreading or developing serious complications with STIs or STDs should you become infected. Aside from getting tested, there are many ways you can protect yourself from STIs and STDs, including condoms, limiting your number of sex partners or the most effective way, avoiding sex.
If you feel you may have contracted a sexually transmitted infection, don’t panic! Many STIs and STDs are curable with prescription medication, but you should never use home remedies. Simply contact a health care professional and get a simple test to find out what steps (if any) need to be taken.
If you are between the ages of 12-22 years old you can contact Teen Age Medical Services (TAMS) for more information or to schedule an appointment at 612-813-6125, or if you are older than 22 feel free to contact us at the Cedar Riverside Clinic at 612-332-4973.
This information was obtained through the Minnesota Department of Health, learn more at http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/dtopics/stds/