Hey, dear readers. In case you didn’t know, April is STD Awareness Month, and we’re using this opportunity to arm you with all the sexually transmitted disease (STD) knowledge you need to go about your sex life in a safe (and fun) way. There’s a lot of misinformation out there, so we’re hoping to answer the most important questions you may have about STDs and STIs, giving you peace of mind and making you feel empowered about your sexual health.
One thing you may be wondering is exactly how easy it is to contract an STD. There are many myths and misconceptions about STDs out there, but one thing is certain: Getting an STD is incredibly common. Don’t panic — we got the scoop from two OB/GYNs, who insist that the numbers shouldn’t necessarily scare you.
“The majority of sexually active people will get Human Papillomavirus (HPV) in their lifetime,” Dr. Polaneczky tells HG.
But before you freak out, it’s important to understand the facts and realize that this may not be as big a deal as you think.
When it comes to STIs, it’s very important to point out the demographics. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), adolescents and young adults in the 15 to 24 age range have twice the rate of STIs than the general population. Half of all STIs occur in this age group, eve though they make up a quarter of the population. That’s why arming young people with information is so crucial, says Montana-based OB/GYN Gina Nelson, M.D.
Lastly, a “lack of access to care where screening and treatment of STIs can occur.” That’s not the best combination of factors.
Yikes. But what are the chances for a sexually active person to actually get an STI?