So what might Cupid do to get things started on the right foot – and play it safe?
“The key to a good relationship is being able to talk about important but uncomfortable topics like sexual health, even if it seems awkward,” Santana opines. Santana says the conversation needn’t even take place face-to-face; it could begin online or by text.
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That’s precisely where public health officials would like to see one particular potentially awkward but all-important topic discussed.
Overall, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s most recent analysis suggests that 20 million new sexually transmitted infections occur in the U. each year, and 1.2 million people are currently living with HIV – which can lead to AIDS if left untreated.
The latest data also shows reported cases of three common sexually transmitted diseases, chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis, have increased for the first time since 2006.
Based on the latest figures from the 2014 STD Surveillance Report released last year, there were 1.4 million cases of chlamydia reported, up nearly 3 percent from 2013; while the rates of primary and secondary syphilis – the most infectious stages of the disease – rose by about 15 percent, with nearly 20,000 reported cases.
It’s something, Engeran-Cordova says, AHF uses in its STD wellness centers.
“People can come in and get tested for HIV and STDs for free, and then the results are delivered to them on [a mobile] app – and then that profile on Healthvana can be shared with potential partners electronically,” he says.
Whether you’re able to get results electronically or not, Healthvana’s CEO Ramin Bastani suggests, “Get access to your lab report – if the place where you’re getting tested is willing to give you your actual test results.
And there were 350,062 reported cases of gonorrhea, up about 5 percent from the year prior.
As STD rates rise, health experts say many people miss a golden opportunity to lower their risk of contracting an STD by simply broaching the subject with a potential partner – like when first chatting online about everything else under the sun.
It could start with a general conversation regarding sexual health.
“Ask about the last time your partner got tested for HIV and other STDs, and ask about the results of those tests,” said Alberto Santana, a CDC spokesman in the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, in an email.