April is STI Awareness Month
April is STI Awareness Month, a time to shed light on sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and the importance of prevention and testing. STIs are a common health issue that affect millions of people worldwide. In the United States alone, there are approximately 20 million new STI infections every year. The CDC estimates that about 20 percent of the U.S. population, roughly one in five people in the U.S., had an STI on any given day in 2018. STIs acquired that year cost the American health care system nearly $16 billion in health care costs alone. Despite the prevalence of STIs, many people are unaware of the risks associated with unprotected sexual activity and the importance of getting tested regularly.
Social stigmas are a hurdle that many people face and it can be a significant barrier to seeking care. One of the many benefits of testing at home is that it is a more private and convenient option for individuals who may be hesitant to seek care through traditional channels. By allowing people to test for STIs remotely, it removes some of the stigma associated with STI testing.
One of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of STIs is through regular testing. Many STIs can be asymptomatic, meaning that people can be infected and unknowingly pass the infection on to others. Regular testing can help detect STIs early on, making it easier to treat and prevent the spread of the infection.
Fortunately, getting tested for STIs has never been easier. Now with at-home STI testing kits, people can now get tested in the comfort and privacy of their own homes. These test kits, like the ones facilitated by ixlayer, are available at most pharmacies and are easy to use. They typically include a swab or urine sample that is sent to a lab for analysis. Digital results are usually available within a few days, and if necessary patients can receive next care steps recommended by a clinician, all from the comfort of their home and without having to visit their primary care physician.
Increased access to care is a critical part of preventive care for STIs. At-home testing kits have made testing more accessible and convenient for many people. By removing the barriers to testing, such as the need to schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider or to visit a clinic, more people are likely to get tested and receive the care they need.
In addition to at-home testing kits, there are other ways to increase access to care and promote preventive care for STIs. For example, healthcare providers can provide patients with information about STI testing and prevention, and encourage them to get tested regularly. They can also offer testing and treatment services in a safe and welcoming environment, without stigma or judgment.
Community-based organizations and advocacy groups can also play an important role in promoting STI awareness and access to care. These groups can provide education and outreach to underserved communities, where rates of STIs may be higher. They can also offer support and resources to people who have been diagnosed with an STI, helping them to navigate the healthcare system and access the care they need.
By promoting STI awareness and increasing access to care, we can reduce the incidence of STIs and improve the overall health and wellbeing of our communities. If you are sexually active, it is important to get tested regularly for STIs. At-home testing kits are a convenient and effective way to do so.