The Roundup -

STD Awareness Month


Nearly 20 million new sexually transmitted infections occur in the United States every year costing the American healthcare system nearly $16 billion in direct medical costs alone, says a report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC).

American’s youth shoulder a substantial burden of these infections. CDC estimates that half of all new STDs in the country occur among young men and women aged 15 to 24. This statistic holds true in Richland County. Of the 13 positive Chlamydia cases in Richland County in 2014, 7 were in men and women ages 15 to 24.

The high incidence of STIs in the general population suggests that many Americans are at risk of exposure to STDs, underscoring the need for prevention.

Despite this news, there are effective ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat STDs. STD screening and early diagnoses are essential in preventing transmission and long term health consequences of STDs. Because testing and education are essential in preventing the spread of STDs, Richland County Family Planning offers STD screenings and education to men, women, and teens of all ages.

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. And for all individuals who are sexually active – particularly young people – STI screening and prompt treatment (if infected) are critical to protect a person’s health and prevent transmission to others.

More information about STDs is available by calling Lesley Thiessen, RN at the Richland County Health Department at 433-2207 or by visiting


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