April is National STD Awareness Month

STD Awareness Month is here, along with the alarming news that sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs) are on the rise. Too many people want to avoid the topic altogether, but public health data show us that there is a hidden STD epidemic in this nation. So what's the inside story on Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)?  CDC estimates 20 million new STD infections occur each year in the United States, costing the healthcare system nearly $16 billion in direct medical costs. There are also now more than 110 million total sexually transmitted infections in U.S. men and women.

For the first time in nearly a decade, rates for three of the most common STDs (chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis) all increased at the same time. These infections can threaten immediate and long-term health and well-being. Untreated STDs can lead to reproductive complications such as infertility (inability to get pregnant) and ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the womb). They can also increase a person's risk for getting and giving HIV.

Young people aged 15–24 and gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men continue to be at greatest risk for infection. Why? It's complicated, but we know that individual risk behaviors aren't the only reason. Environmental, social, and cultural factors, including a high level of STDs in these populations and difficulty in accessing quality health care contribute to a higher STD burden.

STD Awareness Month 2016: Talk. Test. Treat.

Each week in April, the CDC is focusing on a different aspect of the Talk. Test. Treat. theme to show how these actions can become a regular part of your life.

  • April 1-9 | An overview of this year’s theme and how preventing STDs can be simple with these three actions: Talk.Test.Treat.
  • April 10-16 | TALK: Talk openly to partners, patients, and healthcare providers about sexual health and STDs.
  • April 17-23 | TEST: Ensure everyone knows who should be tested and when.
  • April 24-30 | TREAT: The important role healthcare providers and patients play in making sure STDs are treated correctly.

Select CDC Resources