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JACKSON, Tenn. – The Jackson-Madison County Regional Health Department joins the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in recognizing April as STD Awareness Month.
CDC estimates there are about 20 million new cases of STDs each year in the United States. About half of these infections are in people between the ages of 15 and 24.
Three common STDs—chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis—saw sharp increases across the United States between 2013 and 2017. In 2017 alone, Madison County had 311 reported cases of gonorrhea, 20 reported cases of syphilis, and 725 reported cases of chlamydia, according to data from the Tennessee Department of Health. Madison County had one of the state’s highest rates of reported cases of gonorrhea in 2017.
“Madison County has consistently been in the top counties within the state for rate of STIs every year,” Epidemiologist Shanna Shearon said. “It’s important to get tested so you and your partner are protected.”
The Jackson-Madison County Regional Health Department offers STD testing for HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and hepatitis C. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are curable with the right medicines, yet most cases go undiagnosed and untreated. Untreated STDs can lead to severe health problems like infertility, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth in infants, and increased HIV risk.
The surest way to protect yourself against STDs is to abstain from having sex. If you decide to have sex, you and your partner should get tested for STDs beforehand. Because many STDs have no symptoms, getting tested is the only way to know for sure if you have an infection. If you test positive for an STD, work with your doctor to get the correct treatment. Some STDs can be cured with the right medication. Those that aren’t curable can be treated.
Call 731-423-3020 for more information or to schedule an appointment to get tested.