Be aware of Sexually Transmitted Infections

The Collective Preventive Service’s (CPS) calendar of health observances, focuses on Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) during the month of April, reminds and encourages the community to take a proactive approach to prevent STIs, and continue to make healthy choices.

CPS, which is a department within the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, is calling on the populace to get checked, treated and comply with the advised preventive measures. Sexually Transmitted Infections are real and present. STIs do not discriminate. Individuals should also be well informed in order to make wise choices.

CPS encourages individuals to be more responsible for their own health and their partner’s health, make proper use of condoms or abstain.

STIs are infections that are spread primarily through person-to-person sexual contact. STIs are infections that are likely to be transmitted while having unprotected sex. Transmitted means that the infection is passed on from one person to another person.

If you may have been exposed to an STI, you should consult your general practitioner and get tested; or if you have ever had unprotected (without a condom) sex (vaginal, anal or oral) with someone whose status you don’t know, consult your general practitioner and get tested. For good sexual health care, consult your family physician.

There are more than 30 different sexually transmissible bacteria, viruses and parasites.

The most common conditions they cause are cancer, gonorrhea, chlamydial infection, syphilis, trichomoniasis, chancroid, genital herpes, genital warts, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and hepatitis B infection.

Practicing safer sex is important as it decreases the chances of transmitting sexual infections. Safer sex means taking positive action to lower the risk of sexually transmitted infections. You can lower your risk of becoming infected with an STI by using a condom male or female the right way every time you have sex.

Unsafe sex results in unplanned consequences. Be responsible for your health and your partner’s make an informed choice such as one can choose to abstain, be faithful and continuously and correctly during any and all sexual activities.

For STI information you can also contact your local Family Physician, and the Sint Maarten AIDS Foundation. Enjoy life, be well informed and comply!