If you have a STD, you’re definitely not alone. Each year, there are 19 million new cases of STDs in the United States. Almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24. Every 9.5 minutes in the United States someone is infected with HIV and chlamydia infection rates are higher than ever. Left untreated, some STDs may lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, organ damage, blindness, infertility and death. STDs can affect your ability to get pregnant, and some may be transmitted to your child during pregnancy or the birth process. Certain STDs increase the risk for some cancers and may increase your chance of catching HIV.
The good news is early detection and treatment can help most people avoid serious health problems. But you can’t treat it if you don’t know you have it. Learn to recognize STD symptoms and ask your health care provider about STD testing.