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Health Department Notes: April is STD Awareness Month

There’s no avoiding the statistics: the number of reported sexually transmitted disease (STD) cases are at an all-time high, and if you are sexually active, you are at risk of infection.

So what can you do? Arm yourself with the facts about STDs and talk with your healthcare provider - that’s always an important place to start.

When it comes to protecting your sexual health, the best offense is a good defense. A relationship between patient and healthcare provider emphasizing teamwork and communication is key: when the relationship works better, sexual health works better.

No one wants to feel like they’re just a number. In today’s fast-paced world, it can feel that way when you’re one of many patients a healthcare provider sees. But it doesn’t have to be that way. The power to protect your health is in your own hands. Do your homework – know the risks, symptoms, and the steps you can take to protect yourself from STDs. Talk to your healthcare provider about what you can do, and how you can work together, to be proactive in safeguarding your sexual health.

Your health matters, and it’s up to you to take control:

• Prepare to answer your healthcare provider’s questions about sex honestly – yes, questions are a good thing.

• Get tested – many STDs are curable and all are treatable.

• Get treated – protect yourself from long-term, irreversible damage to your health by starting treatment immediately.

• Get retested – it’s common to get some STDs more than once, so getting retested in three months is important, even if you and your partner took medicine.

• Communicate, communicate, communicate – with your sexual partner and your healthcare provider.

April is STD Awareness Month, and now is a great time to take control of your own sexual health by getting and staying informed. The Woodford County Health Department offers STD/STI testing. This service includes a physical exam, lab tests, medication, counseling and, if needed, referrals. For more information or to make a same day appointment, call 873-4541.

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