Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are caused by infections that are passed from one person to another during sexual contact.
Many STDs have no symptoms, so people who are infected may not know they have an STD and unknowingly spread the infection to their partner. Lack of information, misconceptions and social stigma may keep people from getting tested.
The good news is we can protect ourselves and each other from STDs. Practicing safer sex allows you to reduce your risk of getting sexually transmitted diseases. Also if you've done anything that puts you at risk of infection, getting tested allows you to get any treatments you may need.
Currently, St. Louis has the highest rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that half of the 20 million new cases of STDs each year occur in people between the ages of 15 and 24. Make sure both you and your partner get tested before having sex, and use protection each and every time.
Financial assistance is available for those who qualify.