Posted on April 2nd, 2018

April is STD Awareness Month, an annual observance to raise public awareness about the impact of sexually transmitted diseases (STD) on the lives of Americans and the importance of individuals discussing sexual health with their health care providers and their partners. STDs are a major public health issue in the United States.

CDC estimates that there are approximately 20 million new cases of STDs in the U.S. each year.  Almost half of those cases are among young people ages 15 to 24. Many of those who are infected don’t know it as many STDs do not have any symptoms.

The power to protect your health is in your own hands. Do your homework – know the risks, symptoms, and the steps you can take to protect yourself from STDs.

Talk to your healthcare provider about what you can do – and how you can work together – to be proactive in safeguarding your sexual health. Your health matters, and it’s up to you to take control:

  • Prepare: to answer your healthcare provider’s questions about sex honestly.
  • Get tested: many STDs are curable, and all are treatable.
  • Get treated: protect yourself from long-term, irreversible damage to your health by starting treatment immediately.
  • Know: the benefits of expedited partner therapy (EPT)[1 MB] – your provider may be able to give you medicine or a prescription for your partner – even without seeing them first.
  • Get retested: it’s common to get some STDs more than once, so getting retested in 3 months is important, even if you and your partner took medicine.
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate – with your sexual partner and your healthcare provider.


The only way to know for sure if you have an STD is to get tested. Your local health department offers low-cost, confidential STD testing and treatment.  Learn more by visiting our STD Testing and Treatment page.

CDC’s STD Awareness Month website is filled with resources for both healthcare providers and individuals who are at risk or may be impacted by STDs. You can also join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook by using #STDMonth18 and #TreatMeRight.