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STIs: Are you free?

  • Published
  • By By Staff Sgt. Angela Heard
  • 8th Medical Operations Squadron Public Health
Are you free of a sexually transmitted infection? April is National STD Awareness Month, a time to bring awareness to the young and old and to get tested for STIs.

Some of the most common STIs worldwide are chlamydia, herpes, gonorrhea, syphilis and HIV; all of which have been reported here at Kunsan.

STIs are spread through unprotected sex and can almost always be prevented by using a condom. Keep in mind, sexual contact includes vaginal, oral, and/or anal contact, whether actual penetration occurs or not. While infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis can be treated with the use of antibiotics, HIV/AIDs and herpes are for a lifetime and will require continual treatment.

Common STIs often show no signs or symptoms, so an individual might be involved in sexual contact with others and unknowingly transmit an STI. In fact, the majority of diagnosed cases of STIs are in individuals who have not experienced any symptoms.

STIs affect all individuals regardless of rank, age, gender, culture, religion, ethnicity or race. You increase your risk of an STI if you engage in unprotected sex, are having sex with more than one partner, with a person that has more than one sexual partner, or you are having sexual contact with an infected person.

Abstinence is the only 100 percent guaranteed way to remain free of STIs. If you make the choice to be sexually active, make the choice to be sexually responsible and protect yourself and your partner by using a latex condom. Free condoms are always available throughout the 8th Medical Group. By just taking a couple of seconds to put on protection, you could ultimately save yourself from life-long painful and embarrassing health conditions.

So again, "Are You Free?"

If you have engaged in any type of unprotected sexual activity or have had multiple partners, there is a possibility that you can be infected, even without symptoms. Here at the 8th MDG, confidential testing is offered through a simple process.

If you have any questions or want to get tested, contact Community Health at 782-4510 or schedule an appointment through your provider at 782-5227.

For more information about STDs, visit http://www.cdc.gov/std/.