STD (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) Awareness Month, observed each April, is an opportunity to raise awareness about what STDs are and how they impact our lives; and to understand why it's important to prevent, test for, and treat STDs.
Anyone can get an STD. It has nothing to do with how "clean" someone is or how they dress or act. Most people who get an STD, including HIV, are unaware that the person they are having sex with has this type of infection.
The surge of STDs endangers the health of too many in the US. According to the CDC, from 2013–2017:
• Syphilis cases nearly doubled
• Gonorrhea cases increased by 67 percent
• Chlamydia cases remained at record highs
Given this data, STD Awareness Month is a timely reminder to continue to raise awareness about STDs, take action to mitigate the increase in STDs in the US, and reduce STD-related stigma, fear, and discrimination.
Locally, we can help. Click here for where one can get tested and for additional information. And Tulare County HHSA's Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health (MCAH) programs play a significant role in preventing and treating STDs via its Case Management and Disease Investigation for Pregnant Women and Women of Childbearing Age program.
In Tulare County, women of childbearing age accounted for an average of 334 cases of gonorrhea per year from 2016–2020. In addition, rates of syphilis among women and congenital syphilis in Tulare County have increased in the past years. In 2020, the incidence rate of early syphilis among females was 15.0 per 100,000, surpassing California's incidence rate of 14.1.
A nurse case manager provides education to pregnant women diagnosed with syphilis. In conjunction with primary care providers, the nurse case manager will ensure women receive appropriate treatment to prevent complications during pregnancy.
Need to get tested? Follow this link: How do I protect myself and my partner(s) from HIV, Viral Hepatitis, and STDs? | Get Tested (cdc.gov)