Health Connection of Pace Community Action Agency Recognizes April as STD Awareness Month
Nearly 20 million new sexually transmitted infections occur in the United States every year costing the American healthcare system nearly $16 million in direct medical costs alone, says a report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The most recent statistics from the Indiana Department of Health report 108 cases of Gonorrhea, 668 cases of Chlamydia, and nearly 70 people living with HIV/AIDS in the Health Connection service areas of Knox, Daviess and Vigo Counties. There were nearly 300 cases of Hepatitis C (a blood borne infection) reported in these 3 counties for 2016.
Sexually transmitted diseases (STD) pose a serious public health threat particularly to young women, African Americans, Hispanics, men who have sex with men and individuals living in poverty with limited access to healthcare. Nearly half of all new STDs occur among young men and women aged 15 to 24.
Despite this news, there are effective ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat STDs. STD screening and early diagnoses are essential in preventing transmission and the long term health consequences of STDs.
Abstaining from sex, reducing the number of sexual partners, and consistently and correctly using condoms are all effective prevention strategies. Safe, effective vaccines are also available to prevent Hepatitis B and some types of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) that cause disease and cancer.
Angie Graber, Pace Nurse Practitioner says, “Talking openly to a partner(s) and doctor about sexual health and STDs, getting tested, and if tested positive for an STD working with your doctor to get the correct treatment are all critical ways to protect a person’s health and prevent transmission to others.”
To learn more about STD prevention, testing, and treatment or to schedule an appointment, call Health Connection at (812) 882-6069, (812) 234-3352 or (812) 254-6069.
Pace Community Action Agency, Inc. is a private not-for-profit Community Action Agency established to provide support services to improve the community and encourage self-reliance.
Services are provided without regard to race, age, color, religion, sex, disability, national origin, ancestry, or status as a veteran.
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