STDs: The Low Down

STDs are both common and sneaky. One in two sexually active young people will get an STD by age 25, and most of them won’t even know it. That’s because many STDs do not show any symptoms. That means you or your partner should always be wearing a condom, whether that is internal or external, during vaginal, oral and anal sex.

How can I protect against STDs?

Abstinence is the best way to protect against STDs. For those that choose to have sex, practice safe sex. That means that one person should we wearing a condom throughout the whole experience, whether it is internal or external. Condoms are the only form on contraceptive that will protect against both STIs and pregnancy, so it is important to use one even if you or your partner use a different form of birth control.

Should I get tested for STDs?

STDs are sneaky — often they don’t cause any symptoms, so many infected people don’t know they’re infected. Click here to see if you should get tested.
Many Reproductive Health Centers throughout Pennsylvania offer free and confidential STD screenings for teens.

Find a teen-friendly health center near you

Here are some good facts to keep in mind regarding STDs:

  • STDs are common. 1 in 4 girls and an equally alarming number of guys have an STD right now.
  • STDs are treatable. All of them. Some are even curable.
  • STDs are sneaky. Most of the time an STD doesn’t produce any symptoms.
  • You cannot tell by looking at someone whether he or she is infected with HIV or another STD.
  • Using drugs and alcohol increases your chances of getting STDs because these substances can interfere with your judgment and your ability to use a condom properly
  • If you have had unprotected sex, you may have a STD and not know it.
  • If your partner has had unprotected sex, your partner may have a STD and not know it.
  • If left untreated, STDs can lead to long-term consequences, like infertility, long-term pain or cancer.

If you think you have a STD, there is something you can do about it! The only way to know for sure is to be tested.

Read: The Most Common STDs

Read: Should I get tested?

Read: Will my parents find out?

Find: A teen-friendly health center

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