CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News UpdateOHIO: April Is STD Awareness Month
April 10, 2013
WHIZnews.com (Ohio) (04.08.13)
More than 80 percent of people do not know that they have an STD because most people show no symptoms, according to Ohio’s Muskingum County Health Department. Southeast Ohio Regional Epidemiologist Kristen Baker declared, "There were over 200 cases of chlamydia with 40 percent of the 200 being teenagers and high school students. The age range on the chlamydia was 14–59. So we have some young kids getting sexually transmitted diseases." Baker further stated that although Muskingum County is rural, its chlamydia rates are comparable to large cities such as Columbus. In 2012, Muskingum County experienced 34 new gonorrhea cases, three new HIV cases, and a total of 67 people living with AIDS.
Baker emphasized that some STDs are treatable and can be cured with antibiotics, while some STDs will require life-long management. All visits to Muskingum County Health Department’s Sexual Health Clinic are confidential. The clinic offers free hepatitis C and HIV testing and charges a small fee for gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, and chlamydia testing. Persons infected with any type of STD need to let a potential partner know of their infection. Baker stressed the importance of protecting oneself and knowing one’s partner’s sexual history.