Every year, there are 20 million new STD/STI cases in the U.S. Passing from one person to another through physical sexual contact means that contracting a disease or infection is very common and it remains a public health concern.
In 2020, prevention was heavily impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic with resources lacking support, treatment and testing supplies. In the face of the pandemic, people didn't stop having sex which meant that STD/STI cases significantly rose. The syphilis epidemic surged in numbers (there was a 15 percent increase since 2019) while gonorrhea increased by 10 percent. Since chlamydia is typically asymptomatic, the numbers for the infection are limited because people weren't going in for tests. There wasn't a decrease in cases but a decrease in testing. Unfortunately, minority groups, gay and bisexual men, and U.S. youth are still at the top of the list for high rates of infection and disease.
With medical costs for new STI cases burgeoning at around $16 billion, the cost is heavy. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't remain vigilant and active when educating ourselves and the public on how to be on top of their sexual health. While many STDs/STIs can be treated regularly, some lead to cervical cancer, fertility issues and even death.
At Giddy, we tackle the more taboo topics surrounding STDs/STIs. We look at the silver lining of living with an STI, the strange history of treatments, superbug STDs and the impact of dating apps on sexual infections. We're tapping into more specifics surrounding sexual health in order to open up the conversation beyond statistics and medical jargon. These eight articles in our STD/STI awareness guide encourage the public to make talking about intimacy (even the stigmatized stuff) normal and empowering.
STD/STI awareness reduces stigma, fear and discrimination. By educating communities, people can have the tools for prevention, testing, treatment or to prepare for their diagnoses.