It’s no surprise that STIs are on the rise in the United States, specifically with millennials.
Between hookup apps and casual dating, we are walking infections — a generation raised on the importance of safe sex after another generation was wiped out. Yet, for some reason we continue to ignore warnings and participate in casual sex without the knowledge of sexual health and continuously eliminate sexual protection. Elite Daily conducted a study where they asked 240 millennials about their history with testing for sexually transmitted infections. 26% of women and 28% of men said they had never been tested and 59% of men and 68% of women said they had only been tested in the last two years. What’s worse is that these survey numbers don’t seem to help or generate any interest in getting tested. Our generation must bolster prevention and focus on increased efforts to better ourselves for a healthy sexual future.
What makes all of this even more pertinent and relevant is that STIs are at an all time high. Compared to 2014, syphilis increased by 19%, gonorrhea by 13%, and chlamydia by 6%. Furthermore, herpes and HPV were not included in these results, which leaves a gap in information.
In order to protect yourself from STIs, start here:
- Talk openly with your partners and health providers
- Use barrier methods like condoms or monogamy
- Get tested once a year or after any new sexual partner
The World Health Organization has recommended that individuals take new precautions for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis as they can increase the risk of being infected with HIV. Furthermore, if left untreated, many women can experience infertility or an increased risk of cancer.
According to Millennial Magazine, “one in five American have genital herpes” and that “90% of those infected are unaware.” It is projected that by 2025, 40% of men and half of women could be infected with herpes.
Not only do STIs cost you your personal health, it costs the country $16 billion annually. Treatment for sexual infections doesn’t come cheap. In order to stay on top of your partner’s health, encourage them to get tested, which will motivate yourself in becoming more knowledgable and safe when sexually active.