ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - April is 2008 STD Awareness Month. The Alachua County Health Department will be highlighting the health impacts of sexually transmitted diseases during this month.
According to Alachua County Health Department Administrator Jean Munden, approximately 19 million new sexually transmitted infections occur every year in the United States. Almost half of these are among young people aged 15 to 24, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). STDs pose a serious public health threat to Americans, particularly young women, African Americans, men who have sex with men (MSM), and individuals living in poverty or who have limited access to healthcare. STDs cost the national health care system as much as $15.5 billion annually.
In speaking of the effects of STDs Munden said, "STDs such as chlamydia and gonorrhea are major causes of infertility among women. These and other common STDs can increase the risk of HIV transmission for both women and men. Alachua County Health Department (ACHD) will be doing several community screenings, educational presentations and other public health activities. Please see the attached calendar for event information."
Munden continued saying, "There are many effective ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat STDs. STD screening and early diagnoses are vital to prevent serious health consequences and increased transmission. Screening is particularly important since many STDs often have no signs or symptoms. ACHD recommends annual chlamydia screening for sexually active women under the age of 26. For sexually active MSM, ACHD recommends annual HIV and syphilis blood testing, annual chlamydia testing, as well as annual gonorrhea testing."
More information about STDs is available at: http://www.cdcnpin.org/stdawareness/index.htm http://www.doh.state.fl.us/chdalachua/index.htm or www.cdc.gov/std or by calling the Alachua County Health Department at 352-334-7900.