April is National STD Awareness Month, and even though this post is late in coming, it is never too late to take the pledge to know your status. Every year, approximately 19 million people are infected with an STD. It has been projected that 1 in every 2 sexually active people will become infected with an STD by the age of 25 and don't even know it. The only way to know if you have an STD is to get tested. Sure, having your blood drawn may be a bit scary and finding out you have a disease may be embarrassing, but ALL STDs ARE 100% TREATABLE. Knowing your status is just one way to help reduce the spread of these diseases that can lead to complications in the future. Wearing condoms during sex, if you are sexually active, is the best way to prevent the spread of STDs, but Abstinence is the safest form of prevention. Want to know the Real Facts about STDs? Here are a few:
FACT: 15-24 year olds represent nearly half of the new STD cases each year
FACT: Many STDs have NO SYMPTOMS (that includes HIV) so it's important that you get tested
FACT: An STD can be passed on through oral sex
FACT: More than 50% of Sexually active people will get HPV at some point during their lives
FACT: 1 in 6 people are Infected with Herpes in the U.S.
FACT: 1 in 5 people in the U.S. are living with HIV and don't even know it
FACT: Chlamydia is the #1 reported STD in the United States...an estimated 3 million people are infected each year
Some of these facts may be hard pills to swallow, but if they are not enough to encourage you to take charge of your sexual health and your life, then I don't know what will.
Dozens of celebrities including Lady Gaga and Lil Wayne have made pledges to support and promote safe sex and awareness through testing, and MTV has partnered up with Get Yourself Tested Now dot org (GYTNOW.ORG) to get young people talking about the issue of STDs and become educated about the importance of testing.
There are so many people supporting the pledge to take control of their sexual lives, so where do you stand? Take the pledge to get tested today! It is free, discrete and confidential. Treatment is also free.
You can find a free testing site near you by visiting the "Get Yourself Tested Now" website at
Type in your zip code and make the commitment to become aware.