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Home News NMHealth recognizes STI Awareness Week and encourages safe sex habits
David Barre
(505) 699-9237 Office

NMHealth recognizes STI Awareness Week and encourages safe sex habits

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Health (NMHealth) is encouraging residents to recognize Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) Awareness Week and always practice safe sex. STI Awareness Week, observed in the second full week of April (14-20), aims to raise awareness and reduce stigma around STI prevention, testing and treatment. 

STIs, including but not limited to chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, are viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites that occur through sexual contact and exchange of bodily fluids. Some STIs remain asymptomatic but can still be passed to other persons through sex. 

STIs don’t always cause symptoms or may only cause mild symptoms. Therefore, it is possible to have an infection and not know it. That is why getting an STI test is important if you are having sex. If you receive a positive STI diagnosis, know that all are treatable with medicine and some are curable entirely. 

“STIs are very common. There are millions of infections each year in the United States,” said Janine Waters, STD Program Manager. “Knowing your STI status is a critical step to stopping STI transmission, especially since you might not have or notice symptoms without getting tested. Most STIs are easily treated and if you know you are infected you can take steps to protect yourself and your partners.” 

There are resources available for people who want to prevent or treat STI’s: 

  • The helps New Mexicans find testing services and treatment options, through location-specific guides and searches. 
  • There is also Take Me Home, is a partnership organization that enables free, discreet, and in-home sexual health tests, as well as basic support sources following a possible positive result.  
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also provides an online, location-based, testing search via GetTested.

The only 100% effective way to avoid STDs is to not have vaginal, anal, or oral sex. If you are sexually active, you can do the following things to lower your chances of getting STDs and HIV: 

  • Choose less risky sex activities. 
  • Get vaccinated against Hepatitis B and HPV. 
  • Use a new condom, consistently and correctly, for every act of vaginal, anal, and oral sex throughout the entire sex act (from start to finish). 
  • Reduce the number of people with whom you have sex. 
  • Consider a harm reduction approach of less drug and alcohol use before and during sex. 
  • Have an honest and open talk with your healthcare provider and ask whether you should be tested for STIs and HIV. 

STIs can lead to adverse birth outcomes, cancer (anal and cervical), infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease, and an increased risk for HIV acquisition and transmission. 

NMHealth encourages all New Mexico residents to Talk, Test, and Treat. Having conversations with healthcare professionals and asking questions about STI transaction, as well as discussing STI and testing status with future sexual partners. These steps decrease the risk of contracting an infection, while discouraging the fear and shame taking over sexual health discourse and preventing treatment. 

Talk to your healthcare provider and find out if either pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PREP, or post-exposure prophylaxis or PEP is a good option for you to prevent HIV infection. 

Prioritize the health of yourself and your loved ones and start the conversation. More information on STI’s and STD’s can be found through the CDC and on

Media Contact

We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact David Barre at (505) 699-9237 (Office) with your questions.

Versión en Español

En un esfuerzo para hacer que nuestros comunicados de prensa sean más accesibles, también tenemos disponibles una versión en español. Por favor presione el enlace de abajo para acceder a la traducción.

NMHealth reconoce la Semana de Concienciación sobre las ITS y recomienda hábitos de relaciones sexuales seguras