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Understanding Sexually Transmitted Infections — and How to Help Prevent Them

September 26, 2018

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, combined diagnoses of chlamydia, syphilis, and gonorrhea have shot up 31 percent over the last five years. That includes a 76 percent jump in syphilis cases.

And when adding all of the cases that go undiagnosed, or as with herpes, undiagnosed and unreported, the CDC estimates that Americans acquire 20 million new STIs every year. The risk affects young people the most, with one in every two people between the ages of 15 and 24 expected to get an STI before their 25th birthday.

A new video from Women’s Health Research at Yale seeks to improve those numbers and help young people – particularly women – stay healthy.

“If people are informed and responsible, they can greatly improve their chances of staying safe,” said Dr. Carolyn M. Mazure, Director of Women’s Health Research at Yale.

The WHRY team consulted with Dr. Carole T. Goldberg, an American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors And Therapists Certified Sex Therapist, on a video that speaks to young people about what they need to know about how sex and gender influence their sexual health.

Goldberg recommended that if young people are sexually active, they should consider talking with their health care provider about what STI tests might be right for them. She said that having safer sex means going beyond using contraception to prevent pregnancy. And she said that one can never be sure what a sexual partner might have unless everyone gets tested.

Safer U Survival Guide

The research we support is helping unlock the differences inherent in our DNA. For example, women and men respond to and manage stress in different ways. And, STIs can pose different risks depending on a person's anatomy. Knowing these differences can prepare you to make healthier choices for your wellbeing. Watch our Safer U Survival Guide videos to learn even more about differences between and among women and men.

For more news from Women's Health Research at Yale, sign up for WHRY's e-blasts, like WHRY on Facebook, follow WHRY on Twitter, or visit WHRY's website.

For questions, please contact Rick Harrison, Communications Officer at or 203-764-6610.

Submitted by Carissa R Violante on September 26, 2018