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April 13, 2011

For More Information, Contact

  • Leslie Hoglund, senior health educator, public information officer, Central Virginia Health District, 434–947–2629 or 434–238–5569

KNOW YOUR STATUS: APRIL IS NATIONAL STD AWARENESS MONTH

(LYNCHBURG, Va.) – The Central Virginia Health District recognizes April 2011 as STD Awareness Month. The goal is to raise awareness about the impact of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), also known as sexually transmitted infections (STIs), on the health of Central Virginia. STIs pose a serious public health threat, particularly to young women, African Americans, men who have sex with men, and individuals living in poverty or who have limited access to healthcare.

STIs such as Chlamydia and gonorrhea are major causes of infertility among women. These and other common STIs can increase the risk of HIV transmission for both women and men. The Central Virginia Health District advocates the importance of individuals discussing sexual health with their healthcare providers and if sexually active they should discuss their health with their partners, as well. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that one in every two sexually active young people will get a STI by age 25, and many do not believe it can happen to them. Some STIs may not show symptoms, so those individuals who are infected may not know it. STIs most commonly affect young adults, ages 20 to 24 years. The CDC recommends that sexually active persons get tested for STIs at least once a year.

Since January 2011, there have been 226 cases of Chlamydia, with 52.2 percent of the cases in Lynchburg, and 39 cases of gonorrhea reported in the Central Virginia Health District. Chlamydia cases are up 25 percent compared to this time last year. The data do not indicate a reason for the increase in cases. The good news is that all STIs are treatable, and many are curable. Screening is the only way to know for sure and is the best way to prevent the negative or lasting health effects of untreated STIs. The Central Virginia Health District offers free and confidential testing weekly at all health departments. No appointment is needed.

Prevention and treatment are essential in stopping the spread of STIs. For clinic days and times, call your local health department:

  • Amherst County Health Department - 434–946–9408,
  • Appomattox County Health Department - 434–352–2313,
  • Bedford County Health Department - 540–586–7952,
  • Campbell County Health Department - 434–592–9550, or
  • Lynchburg Health Department - 434–947–6785.

Or to locate a testing site, contact the Virginia Disease Prevention Hotline at 1–800–533–4148 or by visiting their website: bit.ly/vdhrrg.

 

Last Updated: 07-30-2011

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