April is STD Awareness Month

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 30, 2010

LAS VEGAS – In the first two months of 2010, 1,231 cases of Chlamydia, 282 cases of gonorrhea, and 36 cases of syphilis were reported in Clark County. Each of these can be easily treated and cured. As part of National STD Awareness Month, the Southern Nevada Health District encourages everyone to get tested and get the facts about sexually transmitted diseases. The health district’s STD clinic provides testing, treatment, exams, referrals, and counseling; HIV testing is available at Annex A. All visits are confidential. The clinic is open Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. For information, contact the clinic at (702) 759-0708 or visit the health district website www.SNHD.info.

In 2009, the health district reported more than 8,200 Chlamydia cases, 1,500 cases of gonorrhea and more than 200 syphilis cases. Southern Nevada is in the midst of a nationwide syphilis outbreak. The health district’s drop-in clinic provides low-cost services. Exams, including treatment (if necessary) are $30. The clinic is located inside the main location, 625 Shadow Lane. Diagnosis and treatment of several STDs are provided as well as test result reports, high-risk behavior counseling, and referrals.

There are nearly 19 million new cases of sexually transmitted diseases in the United States annually and more than half of these are young people between the ages of 15 and 24. Because symptoms do not develop, people are not aware they are infected and unknowingly infect their partners. The highest rates of infection occur in young women, African Americans, men who have sex with men, and individuals who have limited or no access to health care. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends routine Chlamydia testing for women under age 26, and for women who are pregnant or have new or multiple partners. CDC also recommends routine HIV testing for those ages 13-64. Untreated STDs are the leading cause of infertility among women; STDs increase the risk of HIV transmission for men and women. The CDC also recommends that men who have sex with men should also be tested for Chlamydia as well as gonorrhea and syphilis.

Most STD infections have been associated with an increased risk for HIV transmission. In addition, it is estimated that STDs have an economic impact of $15.9 billion in direct medical costs in the United States.

The health district’s office of HIV/AIDS and STDs is participating in the nationwide GYT (Get Your Test) campaign to encourage testing and remove taboos associated with it. Throughout April, free STD screenings will be available at the following locations:

Monday and Thursday
Gay and Lesbian Center – (702) 733-9800
1:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.
953 East Sahara #B25 inside Commercial Center

Wed., April 14, Wed., April 28
North Las Vegas Recreation Center – (702) 633-1171
1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
1638 North Bruce St.

Richard Steele Boxing Facility – (702) 657-3874
2475 West Cheyenne Ave #120
Call for testing dates and times

Updated information about the Southern Nevada Health District can be found on Facebook www.facebook.com/SouthernNevadaHealthDistrict, on YouTube www.youtube.com/SNHealthDistrict or Twitter : www.twitter.com/SNHDinfo.

Visit the Media Contacts webpage for media related inquiries.

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Access information about the Southern Nevada Health District on its website: www.SNHD.info. Follow the Health District on Facebook: www.facebook.com/SouthernNevadaHealthDistrict, YouTube: www.youtube.com/SNHealthDistrict, Twitter: www.twitter.com/SNHDinfo, and Instagram: www.instagram.com/southernnevadahealthdistrict/. The Health District is available in Spanish on Twitter: www.twitter.com/TuSNHD.  Additional information and data can be accessed through the Healthy Southern Nevada website: www.HealthySouthernNevada.org.