Untreated and Undiagnosed STDs
Claire Simon, Communications Manager, Co-Founder/Co-Director, Young Women of Color HIV/AIDS Coalition, New York
Undiagnosed and untreated sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are known to increase the chances of one being infected with HIV because they suppress your immune system, making you more vulnerable to seroconverting. The CDC estimates that there are approximately 19 million new STD infections each year -- almost half of them among young people 15 to 24 years of age. In a 2008 report, the CDC found that one in two African-American girls has had at least one STD.Show More
It's also important to note that many STDs have no signs or symptoms, especially among men, and with symptoms or not, the disease can be passed on to a sex partner.
Practicing safer sex (using condoms during every sexual encounter/act each and every time), getting screened every three to six months for undiagnosed and untreated cases of HIV/STDs, and engaging in partner notification services if you are diagnosed with an STD may contribute to decreased transmission or burden of disease in the community.