National STD Awareness is Observed in April
Health Connection of Pace Community Action Agency, Inc. is recognizing April as STD Awareness Month. This is an annual observance intended to raise awareness and highlight the impact sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) have on Americans’ health and the importance of individuals discussing sexual health with their healthcare providers and their partners.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates nearly 20 million new STDs occur in the United States each year costing the American healthcare system nearly $16 billion in direct medical costs. According to a recent study, almost half of all new STD’s in the country occur among young men and women aged 15 to 24.
The most recent Indiana Department of Health statistics reported 180 cases of Gonorrhea, 756 cases of Chlamydia and 5 cases of Syphilis in the Health Connection service areas of Knox, Daviess and Vigo Counties for 2017. These numbers have increased since 2016.
Angela Graber, Health Connection Nurse Practitioner stated, “We are beginning to see the long term consequences of sexually transmitted infections with increased infertility issues and increased cancers associated with the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) in both men and women. It is our responsibility as healthcare providers to talk about sexual health and STD preventions with our patients and to include this testing as part of routine medical care.”
The CDC recommends all adults and adolescents from ages 13 to 64 be tested at least once for HIV. In addition, annual chlamydia and gonorrhea testing is recommended for all sexually active individuals younger than 25 and for individuals with risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners or a partner who has a STD. For a complete guide on testing and treatment recommendations go to www.cdc.gov/std/treatment.
To schedule an appointment for testing or to talk to a healthcare provider, contact Pace Health Connection at (812)882-6069 Vincennes, (812)254-6036 Washington, or (812)234-0707.
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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