National STI Awareness Week 2024

STI Awareness Week is observed the second full week in April each year. STI is another term for sexually transmitted infection. This week provides the chance to raise awareness about STIs and how they can impact our lives. It allows us to reduce STI-related stigma and fear. We want people to know about STI prevention, testing, and treatment.

This year, STI Awareness Week comes at a critical time. There have been continued increases in STIs across the United States. These increases have also been occurring here in Virginia. We have seen dramatic increases in syphilis in adults and newborn babies. Virginia has seen the following increases in cases since 2018:

  • 13% increase in gonorrhea
  • 32% increase in syphilis among adults
  • 82% increase in syphilis cases among newborn babies


In 2018 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that 20 percent of the U.S. population had an STI on any given day. That is 1 in 5 people! This totaled almost 68 million infections in 2018.

CDC also estimated that STIs acquired that year cost the American health care system nearly $16 billion in health care costs alone. Given the case increase since 2018, imagine the cost to the American health care system today!

Many STIs have no symptoms. The only way to be sure of your status is to get tested. Talk to your healthcare provider about testing if you are sexually active or have not been tested since the last time you were sexually active. You can find free or low-cost STI testing at your local health department or another testing site near you: If you have an STI that is left untreated, it can lead to issues such as:

  • increased risk of getting or spreading HIV
  • long-term pelvic and abdominal pain
  • inability to get pregnant
  • pregnancy complications
  • Many other issues, especially with syphilis and HIV

Learn more about STIs and how they spread on our website: We have the tools to treat and stop the spread of STIs. Let’s use them!

If you have questions about STIs or need help finding STI services, call our toll-free hotline today at (800) 533-4148. Hotline hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. The hotline is closed on Virginia state holidays.