Education key to preventing sexually transmitted infections

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Marina Boulos
  • 95th Aerospace Medicine Squadron
Many of us look forward to the winter holidays. It's a time filled with special activities, fun parties, and often, the giving and receiving of gifts. It's also a time for getting together with family and friends. 

However, not everyone will have the opportunity to visit their family this season, but that doesn't mean that these individuals won't be celebrating. 

Lapses in judgment regarding intimate relationships during the holiday season are a significant factor contributing to our high sexually transmitted infection rates during this time of year. Education and prevention are the keys to keeping our infections rate down.

Historically, the highest numbers of chlamydia cases occur early in January. This means that the individual came in contact with the sexually transmitted infections approximately two weeks earlier. Contact is characterized by a sexual behavior that involves the exchange of blood or bodily fluids with a partner. 

Although some STIs are treatable, there are many other infections that are not. Herpes, syphilis, human papilloma virus and human immunodeficiency virus are just a few of the incurable infections that can be contracted through one episode of careless sex.

There are several ways to prevent STIs. Abstinence is the best. If this option is not for you, using condoms or being involved in a monogamous relationship with someone who does not have an infection are also good choices. 

For more information on STI prevention, call Public Health at (661) 277-2244.