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Why STIs are on the Rise in the US

April is STI Awareness Month. An infectious disease specialist discusses why STI cases are on the rise, and what can be done to help prevent them.

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April is STI Awareness Month. Reports show that sexually transmitted infections are on the rise, especially with cases of syphilis. Image for illustration purposes
April is STI Awareness Month. Reports show that sexually transmitted infections are on the rise, especially with cases of syphilis. Image for illustration purposes
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CLEVELAND CLINIC – April is STI Awareness Month. Reports show that sexually transmitted infections are on the rise, especially with cases of syphilis.

“Why that is, I am not particularly certain. I think part of it is there is a lot with syphilis where there is unknown primary cases, and then lack of diagnosis, lack of awareness, and then transmission to other partners after that,” said Donald Dumford, MD, infectious disease specialist for Cleveland Clinic.

Dr. Dumford said symptoms of syphilis can include painless ulcers and sores on the genitals, body rashes, muscle pain and fatigue.

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If left untreated, it can cause blindness and damage your organs.

Dr. Dumford said the best way to prevent sexually transmitted infections is to use protection and regularly get tested.

There is also no shame in going in for an examination if you suspect you may have contracted something.

The sooner you are treated, the better.

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“As far as treatment goes, there are different options depending on which sexually transmitted infection it is, all of which are relatively benign and mostly well tolerated,” Dr. Dumford noted.

According to the CDC, HPV is considered the most common sexually transmitted infection out there, which is why the HPV vaccine is recommended.

It can help protect against HPV infections that can progress to cancer.

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