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Category: Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Roughly one in every four Missouri teenagers will contract a sexually transmitted disease by the time they are 25 years old, according to data released by the Centers for Disease Control.
Some may never know they are infected, according to health care professionals, because in many cases there are no symptoms, making STD testing crucially important. In addition to the risk of infecting partners, serious complications can arise from STDs, such as chronic pelvic pain and infertility. Some, such as syphilis, can even be fatal.
During April, which has been designated STD awareness month, Planned Parenthood in Missouri has joined an initiative called Get Yourself Tested in 2009(GYT2009), urging people to get tested.
"Getting tested is about empowerment. It's about people taking control of their lives and health," says Paula Gianino, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region.
Early detection and treatment of some STDs can improve results. A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine, for example, found that early treatment of HIV infection improved survival by up to 94 percent.
The CDC study reports that there are approximately 19 million new sexually transmitted disease infections each year, nationally.
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