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Look out for STDs in the summer

Category: Sexually Transmitted Diseases

The summer is here, and as people head out to enjoy all of their fun warm-weather activities, it is important that they do not forget about their health. Just because individuals are enjoying time in their beach houses does not mean that they should not use STD testing services and take precautions to protect themselves against sexually transmitted diseases. In fact, people should be even more vigilant about getting tested for STDs now that the summer has arrived, especially if they are college-aged.

According to a recent article published in the University Daily Kansan, a University of Kansas at Lawrence news source, research from the New Mexico Department of Health has shown that there is increased sexual activity among people between the ages of 15 and 24 during the summer months. Since this age group has the highest rate of STDs, this suggests that the prevalence of these infections may also increase as the warmer months go on.

The threat is real
The news source spoke to Pavika Saripalli, the chief of staff of the Watkins Student Health Services center, who stressed that students should use STD testing services in the summer, since they should always be aware of what their sexual health status is.

"Ninety percent of the time, people don't have symptoms of a sexually transmitted disease," Saripalli told the news source."Students come for a normal check-up or pap smear and we have to end up breaking the devastating news that they are infected."

The Daily Kansan also spoke to a student from the University of Missouri - who asked not to be named - who had a first-hand account of what it feels like to be surprised with an STD diagnosis.

"They told me I was diagnosed with chlamydia a couple weeks ago," she said. "Even though it's curable, the news is still heartbreaking. You would never think a lake trip over Memorial Day weekend would turn into one of the biggest mistakes of your life."

Saripalli explained that while a simple shot can cure many STDs, some are not so easy to get rid of. He said that there is no cure for genital herpes, and people will have to deal with experiencing "break outs" for the rest of their lives. This may leave them with blisters that occasionally occur on their genitals, rectum or mouth that can take weeks to heal.

Protect yourself
It is important for young people to be vigilant when it comes to protecting themselves against STDs, but unfortunately not everyone does. According to NursingSchools.net, only 60 percent of women know how to use a condom correctly. While this is a troubling statistic, what is worse is that 60 percent of women also said that they would still have sex with their partner even if he refused to use a condom.

People should not accept "no" when it comes to condom use. Kids Health offers some clever ways that people can talk to their partners about using condoms. For example, if a partner says that he or she cannot enjoy sex with a condom, the other person can responds that he or she cannot enjoy sex unless it is safe.

Furthermore, women should know how to apply a condom correctly. This way, if a man tries to say that he is inexperienced with using one, she will be able to take control of the situation to ensure that the condom is used properly.

However, if people do end up having unprotected sex, they should be sure to use STD testing services. Also, if people have multiple sexual partners, they should still utilize these services, regardless of whether they use condoms. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

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