Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are the most frequently reported infectious disease in Dakota County and Minnesota.
Many STDs have no signs and symptoms, and sometimes the symptoms go away but the STD is still present. If left untreated, STDs can lead to complications such as infertility in men and women, and pregnancy complications and pelvic inflammatory disease in women.
Testing and treatment are important
STD testing and treatment can help reduce the spread of STDs. Chlamydia cases in Dakota County have more than doubled in the past 10 years, with the highest number reported in women age 15-24 years. It is important to have an honest and open talk with your healthcare provider and ask whether you should be tested for STDs. The CDC has screening recommendations based on age and individual risk factors.
Low-cost STD testing is available
If you are uninsured, there are low-cost STD testing clinics in Dakota County and nearby communities. Most of the clinics test for HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus (HPV) and herpes. Contact the clinic for details. See a list of low-cost STD clinics.
Get the facts about STDs and then take action to protect yourself and your sexual partners. Effective strategies for reducing STD risk include:
- Abstinence: The most reliable way to avoid infection is to not have sex.
- Vaccination: Vaccines are safe, effective, and recommended ways to prevent hepatitis B and HPV.
- Decreasing transmission: Decrease your risk by taking important steps to protect yourself.
- Getting tested: Knowing your STD status is a critical step to stopping STD transmission. If you know you are infected you can take steps to protect yourself and your partners.
For more information