Sexually transmitted diseases put millions of Americans at risk yearly. STDs spread not only from sexual contact but some also spread through average skin-to-skin contact like shaking hands.
STD rates are on a continuous rise in the United States; the most common in Louisiana is chlamydia. Although this infection is not the most deadly and is treatable, it is at an all-time high as of 2018 which is cause for concern.
The scary fact is that many STDs spread unknowingly because most cases do not show symptoms. So, it is important to know how to protect yourself and those around you.
1. Stay on Top of Your Health:
Keeping track of your health can be the difference between life or death. Do not hesitate to talk to a professional about your concerns. Getting tested not only benefits you but also keeps those around you safe. There are even at-home tests available on the market if going in person is not a possibility.
As for treatments, there are vaccinations available that prevent types of sexually transmitted diseases such as human papillomavirus. If vaccinations are not an option, certain antibiotics that treat infectious diseases are available as well.
2. Practice Safe and Honest Sex:
There are many different kinds of sex, so there ar e many different methods to prevent any risks. Before engaging in any form of intercourse, talk to your partner about any health or general concerns you may have. Avoid having intercourse under the influence of drugs or alcohol to ensure all necessary steps are taken to prevent infection and that the sex is consen tual.
After sex, practice proper hygiene to eliminate any bacteria and to hinder urinary tract infections. Most importantly, in addition to any auxiliary contraception, use latex condoms properly. Condoms are the only form of contraception that protects against STDs, according to the National Coalition of STD Directors.
3. Be Informed:
Know the resources available to you. Right on campus is the ULM Health Clinic located at 1140 University Ave. across from Madison Hall. They are open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. They offer immunizations, prescription pick ups, general health screenings and $10 STD screenings.