Are You Keeping Your Sexual Health in Check?

  ·  Anna Maltby  ·   ·   Link to Article

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Today, a group of health and medical organizations called the National Coalition for Sexual Health (NCSH) announced a new effort to boost Americans' use of sexual health services like HPV and hepatitis vaccination, screening for chlamydia and HIV, and counseling for STD prevention and birth control -- services they say are incredibly under-used in the United States, even though they're widely available and covered under the Affordable Care Act.

Some of the crazy stats the NCSH cited:

  • More than half of Americans aren't getting recommended services like the aforementioned vaccination and testing
  • In 2012, less than half of sexually active women between 16 and 24 were screened for chlamydia
  • That same year, only 34 percent of adolescent girls (and 7 percent of boys!) received all three doses of the HPV vaccine

"There are more cases of STIs than diabetes, heart disease, breast cancer, and asthma combined. Despite the fact that we live in a hyper-sexualized world, we are not taking our sexual health as seriously as other health conditions," Edward W. Hook III, M.D., Director, Division of Infectious Diseases and Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, said in a release.

Not sure where to start? Check out this user-friendly guide from the NCSH to figure out which services you need, get questions to ask your doc, and more.

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