STDs are extremely common in the United States—especially this year. According to the CDC, STD rates are at an all-time high, with one in five people having a sexually transmitted disease.

Many STDs don’t even show symptoms, and some can be cured while some can’t. To learn more about these common diseases, keep reading as our AFC Urgent Care Knoxville team further elaborates.

What Are STDs?

STDs (or STIs, as they’re often called) are sexually transmitted diseases that are most often passed from person to person through vaginal, anal or oral sex.

Without treatment, STDs can lead to serious health problems. But the good news is that getting tested is no big deal, and most STDs are easy to treat even though many STD cases don’t show symptoms. To avoid the common STDs that we’ve mentioned below, it’s important to get tested at least once a year if you are sexually active.

Common STDs

  • Chlamydia
  • Herpes
  • Gonorrhea
  • Hepatitis B
  • Syphilis
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Trichomoniasis

How Long Do STDs Last?

There are two types of STDs: bacterial and viral. Bacterial STDs, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and trichomoniasis, can generally be cured with existing, effective regimens of antibiotics.

Viral STDs, however, can’t be cured, but they can be treated. STDs such as hepatitis B, herpes and HIV can last a lifetime, but there are treatment options available that can relieve symptoms and make these diseases much easier to live with. To avoid the complications that come with STDs, it’s important to exercise effective prevention tactics. We’ve listed some below.

Ways to Prevent STDs

  • Practice abstinence. The surest way to avoid getting STDs is to not have sex.
  • Reduce your number of sex partners. This can decrease your risk for STDs. It is still important that you and your partner get tested, and that you share your test results with one another.
  • Practice mutual monogamy. Mutual monogamy means that you agree to be sexually active with only one person, who has agreed to be sexually active only with you. Being in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner is one of the most reliable ways to avoid STDs.
  • Use condoms. Correct and consistent use of the male latex condom is highly effective in reducing STD transmission. If you have latex allergies, synthetic non-latex condoms can be used; however, these condoms have higher breakage rates than latex condoms.

Have questions or need an STD test? Our team at AFC Urgent Care Knoxville is here for you now and always.