April is STD Awareness Month
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 4, 2011
LAS VEGAS – Get Yourself Tested . . . that’s the message from the Southern Nevada Health District as it encourages Valley residents to discuss their sexual health with their healthcare providers and their partners, especially during STD Awareness Month.
Last year, Clark County reported 7,642 cases of Chlamydia and more than 1,500 cases of gonorrhea. In Nevada as across the nation, higher rates of STDs persist among African-Americans and Hispanics as compared to whites.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that there are approximately 19 million new cases of STDs in the United States each year and nearly half of these occur in people between the ages of 15 and 24. That’s 19 million reasons to get tested. 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 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. The economic impact of STDs is estimated to be about $15.9 billion annually in direct medical costs.
Untreated STDs can have long-term consequences. Left untreated gonorrhea and Chlamydia can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease in women, which can cause infertility. Each year, STDs cause at least 24,000 women in the United States to become infertile. If untreated, syphilis can lead to brain, cardiovascular and organ damage. In pregnant women, syphilis can result in congenital syphilis (syphilis in babies), stillbirths, infant death soon after birth (40 percent of cases) or physical deformities and neurological complications in children who survive. 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.
STDs 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 and the cost is $30; 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, by email STDClinic@snhdmail.org or by visiting the health district website www.SNHD.info.
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. In addition to testing at the health district, STD screenings are available at the following locations:
Monday and Thursday
1:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Gay and Lesbian Center, (702) 733-9800
953 East Sahara #B25 inside Commercial Center
Testing is free
Tuesday and Wednesday
1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Richard Steele Boxing Facility, (702) 638-1311/(702) 759-0707
2475 West Cheyenne Ave., #120
Testing is free
Friday, April 8
3 p.m. – 8 p.m.
William Pearson Community Center, (702) 455-1220
1625 West Carey Ave., North Las Vegas
Testing is free for the first 100 people
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.
The Southern Nevada Health District serves as the local public health authority for Clark County, Boulder City, Henderson, Las Vegas, Mesquite and North Las Vegas. The agency safeguards the public health of the community’s residents and visitors through innovative programs, regulations, and initiatives focused on protecting and promoting their health and well-being. More information about the Health District, its programs, services, and the regulatory oversight it provides is available at www.SNHD.info.