Cook County Health Urges Residents to Take Control of Their Sexual Health

 
Caitlin Polochak, Cook County Health
Updated 4/2/2019 7:17 AM

April is Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Awareness Month and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 29 million Americans acquire an STD every year. In 2018, nearly 51,000 cases of STDs were reported.

When it comes to decreasing a person's chance of contracting an STD, prevention is key. Here are some ways you can be proactive in safeguarding your sexual health:

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• Practice abstinence. The most reliable way to avoid infection is to not have sex.

• Use condoms. Using a condom correctly every time you have sex can help avoid STDs. However, you can still get certain STDs, from contact with your partner's skin.

• Get vaccinated. The HPV vaccine is safe and effective and can help you avoid HPV-related health problems like genital warts and some cancers.

• Get tested. Getting tested is the only way for a sexually active person to be sure of their STD status. Make sure you and your partner get tested to know for sure that neither of you has an STD.

• Get treated. Many STDs are curable and all are treatable. If you are given an antibiotic to treat an STD, it is important you take all of the drug prescribed to you.

Talk to your healthcare provider about what you can do and how you can work together. It is up to you to take control.

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