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April is STD Awareness Month. Get Tested.

Mon April 16, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DUPAGE COUNTY-Cases of reported sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea have risen dramatically in DuPage County since 2000. April is STD Awareness Month, and the DuPage County Health Department (DCHD) is joining CDC and partners in reaching out to healthcare providers and patients alike with this very important message: Treat Me Right.

What does that mean? For providers, this involves many aspects of patient care - from fostering a trusting patient-provider relationship to ensuring that patients are correctly diagnosed and treated - and everything in between.

For patients, this means knowing what they can do to stay safe and healthy and how to directly ask their provider for the care that they need and deserve. DCHD recommends that all sexually active people protect themselves from getting STDs.

The following statistics represent a dramatic increase in the number of cases from 2000 to 2016 in DuPage County:
· Early syphilis - 59, up 638 percent
· Gonorrhea - 390, up 91 percent
· Chlamydia - 2,417, up 231 percent

DuPageCasesOfChlamydia20002016

DuPageCasesOfChlamydia2016

Chlamydia is the most common notifiable disease in the U.S. as well as in Illinois and DuPage County. Young persons aged 15-24 years represented 63 percent of reported chlamydia cases in 2016. The chlamydia case rate for DuPage County females was more than twice the rate for males in 2016 (354.6 cases per 100,000 population vs. 168.7 per 100,000).

Testing for STDs is important because most STDs do not produce signs or symptoms initially. Prompt treatment is essential to reduce the chance of spreading the disease and eliminate the health consequences that may occur.

Prevention is also critical. In addition to screening of sexually active persons and their partners, the most reliable way to avoid transmission of STDs is to abstain from sexual contact (i.e., oral, vaginal, or anal sex) or to be in a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner. Condoms, when used consistently and correctly, can reduce the risk of transmission of STDs. For information on "Talking with Your Teens about Sex: Going Beyond 'the Talk,'"
see: www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/protective/pdf/talking_teens.pdf.

Individuals who are sexually active should talk with their physician to see what testing is right for them. The Health Department's STD Clinic also offers confidential testing, diagnosis, treatment and prevention counseling for syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea. The clinic also provides testing and treatment referrals for HIV and Hepatitis C, and evaluation and treatment for human papillomavirus (HPV)-related conditions. STD testing is confidential. For persons under 18 years, testing is free. DCHD STD services are available by appointment, with walk-ins welcome, at these locations:

Central Public Health Center
111 North County Farm Road
Wheaton, IL 60187
Mondays from 2:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Occasional Wednesdays, 4:00-6:00 p.m. (please call first to check availability)

Southeast Public Health Center
422 North Cass Avenue
Westmont, IL 60559
Third and Fourth Tuesday of each month, 1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

For more information, see https://www.cdc.gov/std/ and http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/diseases-and-conditions/stds. For questions, concerns or to schedule an appointment in STD Clinic, call the DuPage County Health Department at (630) 682-7400. ###

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