The prevalence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is on the rise in the United States, with some STIs reaching an all-time high. Studies have revealed that certain racial and ethnic groups are more likely to contract STIs than whites. The factors that contribute to this endemic have been explored, and it has been determined that social determinants of health are key elements in the overall increase in STIs. This has also caused disparities in the acquisition of STIs.
To reduce STI rates, population-specific interventions that target social factors are necessary. Young Americans bear a substantial burden of sexually transmitted infections. HIV infections* (13 years and older) Care for women accounted for nearly 75% of all STI related medical costs (not including HIV care). In addition to medical costs, the total cost of STIs is greater when you consider costs related to maternal transmission, STI prevention, lost productivity, or other non-medical costs.
If you're sexually active, it's important to talk to your healthcare provider about STI testing and which tests might be right for you. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides recommendations for screening for sexually transmitted infections and information for providers can be found on their website. CDC data on HIV, hepatitis, STDs and TB can be accessed interactively. Getting tested regularly is the only way to know if you have an STD and get the treatment you need to prevent potentially serious health problems and stop the spread.
For more information on preventing STDs, please visit the CDC website.