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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.

Having safer sex means going beyond using contraception to prevent pregnancy.


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.

Submitted by Carissa R Violante on September 26, 2018