STDs are on the rise, with cases of gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia steadily increasing in the past three years. When you pair this trend with the widespread use of dating apps like Tinder and Bumble, it’s more important than ever before to make your sexual health a priority. As of 2018, 1 in 2 sexually active people will contract an STD (sexually transmitted disease) or STI (sexually transmitted infection) by age 25. The same demographic is one of the most under-tested – those under 25 account for roughly half of new STD and STI cases, but a recent survey showed only about 12% were tested for STDs or STIs in the last year.
As a sexually active adult, it’s vital that you practice safe habits – keeping yourself clear of STDs starts with prevention! The best ways to protect yourself include having fewer sexual partners, using condoms and other forms of protection, and openly speaking with your partner about your sexual history. If you have casual sex, it’s especially important to protect yourself in the short and long-term. Just something to think about…every time you’re intimate with anyone, you’re being intimate with everyone they’ve been with previously.
The hard truth is that (besides abstinence) there is no form of protection that is 100% effective in preventing the transmission of STDs. With that being said, in many cases, you can be infected with an STD and never show any symptoms. That can be incredibly dangerous because if you don’t know that you’re carrying an infectious disease, you’re potentially exposing anyone that you’re intimate with to the same affliction. This is why an STD panel is the most important test for people under 25 or anyone that has casual sex – without getting tested, you could be spreading an STD or STI to anyone you have sexual contact with.