Get Tested for Sexually-Transmitted Infections

When Charlie Sheen disclosed his HIV infection last fall, sexually transmitted infections were back in the public eye. His case will likely contribute to the belief many people have that HIV is caused by sexual promiscuity or injection drug use, when in reality having unprotected sex with someone HIV-positive just one time can lead to HIV infection. April is STD Awareness Month. The new term for STD is STI -- sexually transmitted infection -- to focus on the infection rather than the disease it could lead to. One way to mark the occasion is to get tested for HIV and thus help eradicate the stigma. A focus on HIV for STD Awareness Month is appropriate since HIV, though preventable, is non-curable and debilitating. HIV testing is now possible with a simple oral swab -- no needles required, and results are ready 20 minutes later. Further, the process is completely confidential, and self-test kits can be purchased in local pharmacies, over the counter, for testing at home. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the United States more than 1.2 million people live with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, yet, alarmingly, as many as 25 percent of persons infected may be unaware of their HIV status. Even though more than 30 years have passed since HIV was discovered, education on how the virus is transmitted is far from universal. Even today, some believe it can be acquired from kissing, using the same toilet seat, or hugging an infected person. Yet anoth...
Source: Healthy Living - The Huffington Post - Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news

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