Sexually transmitted diseases can lead to a variety of harmful reproductive health issues and other forms of medical harm. Especially for younger adults, STDs are more likely to be a more frequent healthcare risk than within other age groups.
STDs disproportionately affect younger adults that are newer to sexual intercourse, who may not fully understand how to have safe sex. Sexually-active adults between the ages of 18 and 25 have the highest rates of STDs in the U.S.
Patients, parents, and other healthcare stakeholders should try and educate patients on how to safely test for STDs. STD tests at nearby walk-in clinics are usually a quick and non-invasive way to identify potential STD. For example, the CDC has a fact sheet that makes it easy to explain to younger adults about the benefits of getting tested.
What are some of the biggest STD risk factors for young adults
Younger adults and sexually-active groups tend to have higher rates of STDs than other groups, due to a lack of education, awareness, or access to preventive care. However, many STDs are easily preventable.
The only way for anyone to truly prevent an STD is through abstinence and forgoing any sexual activity. But sexually active young adults can manage their risks by focusing on preventive behaviors:
- Using protection during sexual intercourse: The use of a condom or other prophylactic can help reduce your risk of transmitting or contracting an STD. Whenever you engage in sexual activity with a new partner always use protection to reduce infection risks.
- Limiting frequency of sexual partners: One of the most important risk factors when it comes to STDs is the number of sexual partners you have. As the number of partners increases, your chances of getting an STD increases as well. Whenever you have a new sexual partner get an STD test.
- Reducing drug and alcohol use before/during sex: Using drugs or alcohol before or during intercourse can lead to a higher chance of STDs. This is because drug and alcohol use can lead to higher-risk sexual behavior. Additionally, sharing needles can also transmit certain critical STDs including HIV/AIDS.
- Getting frequent STD testings with new partners: The most important thing to remember when trying to prevent STDs is that most of them are asymptomatic. This means that you won't usually see any physician symptoms, which means you'll need a test to detect most STDs.
What should younger adults do to prevent STDs?
Managing risk factors is one of the most effective ways to significantly reduce STD risks. However, some younger adults may not be fully aware of the exact prevention strategies to lower STD risks:
Participate in educational outreach and awareness campaigns
Local schools, community groups, and healthcare organizations hold educational events to educate young people on STD risks. Encourage your teenager to participate in educational programs to learn how to safely have sex and get testing
Encourage your teenager to get frequently tested and speak with a doctor about STDs
Sometimes, social stigma or personal privacy concerns may impact a younger person's decision to get an STD test. But having a confidant or advocate may encourage a teen to get necessary STD test.
Visiting a primary care provider, urgent care center, or trusted medical professional, can help ease any concerns or stigma about STD tests. Additionally, having a medical professional explain the ease and simplicity of STD tests can help to reduce stress and get treatment started ASAP.
Always find an appropriate testing facility whenever you think you have an STD.
Whenever you have a new partner, or believe you could have contracted an STD, get tested ASAP!
For younger adults, there is no harm in getting multiple tests for STDs. Tests are invasive and fast whenever they are performed at the appropriate medical facility. These include walk-in clinics, urgent care centers, and hospitals. However, urgent care centers usually provide STD testing at lower costs and more convenient same-day tests than other facilities.
Where can I find STD testing around Denver for my teenager?
Whenever your teenager needs to be sure about a potential STD, then take them to one of your friendly local AFC Urgent Care Denver locations! Our four locations provide convenient and same-day STD testing so you'll never have to wait for results.
STDs are highly preventable if you have a local medical provider ready to provide tests when you need them! Check out each of our locations below and call ahead if you have any questions:
AFC Urgent Care Denver Speer:
777 E Speer Blvd.
Denver, CO 80203
AFC Urgent Care Denver Highlands:
3800 Irving St.
Denver, CO 80211
AFC Urgent Care Cherry Creek:
760 S. Colorado Blvd.
Denver, CO 80246
AFC Urgent Care Denver Park Hill:
1295 Colorado Blvd.
Denver, CO 80206