When it comes to STDs, the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) offers an alarming statistic – one in five Americans has an STD. That equates to almost 70 million people, nearly half of whom will be between the ages of 15 and 24.
To make things worse, many of those who are infected will have no symptoms.
What This Means For Black Americans
Further information shows that Black Americans are much more likely to be infected with specific STDs such as chlamydia, syphilis, and gonorrhea. Studies have found that Black people were 5 – 7 times more likely to have chlamydia than those of other ethnicities.
For gonorrhea, the numbers go up 7 – 9 times the likelihood. The numbers for syphilis are the same as the lower end of chlamydia.
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The Truth About STD Symptoms
It’s noteworthy that a few STDs such as chlamydia, trichomoniasis, and gonorrhea can be present without symptoms. When they are present, it’s possible for symptoms to range from mild to severe.
Additionally, men and women may experience the symptoms differently. It can also take some time for the symptoms to appear or become noticeable. In any case, these are the symptoms to look out for:
- Pain or burning during urination
- Pain during sex
- Unexplained bleeding
- A foul-smelling or unusual discharge
- Pain in the lower abdomen
- Bumps or sores on the mouth or genitals
- A regular fever
- Unexplained chills
- Unexplained weight loss
- Chronic fatigue
- Hair loss
- Persistent headaches
Of course, these symptoms aren’t always linked to STDs. There could be other issues such as kidney stones, a urinary tract infection, or specific types of cancer. Regardless of the cause, they are worth being investigated.
How Untreated STDs Can Affect Your Health
The complications of an untreated STD can take as long as a decade to show up. STDs such as chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause scarring in the reproductive system that makes men and women infertile.
Even if this doesn’t happen, you may still develop another condition known as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which affects