April is STD Awareness Month. Many health organizations rally together during this month to raise awareness about sexually transmitted infections and disease, help reduce STD-related stigma and provide actionable steps to help mitigate the increase in STDs in the United States.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), syphilis cases nearly doubled from 2013-2017, gonorrhea cases increased by 67 percent, and chlamydia cases remained at record highs. More than two million cases of the three STDs combined were reported nationwide. Congenital syphilis—syphilis passed from a mother to her baby during pregnancy or delivery—has also dramatically increased.
Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are curable with the right medicines, yet most cases go undiagnosed and untreated – which can lead to severe health problems that include infertility (inability to become pregnant), ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the womb), stillbirth in infants, and increased HIV risk.
The good news? All STDs can be prevented and treated, and most can be cured.
“Across the nation, these data mean our work is more important than ever – and we can all get involved,” says Gail Bolan, MD, Director of CDC’s Division of STD Prevention. “CDC and other federal organizations, community leaders, health departments, community-based organizations, health care providers, and individuals can all take action at work, in our schools and communities, and at home to make a difference.”
The CDC says individuals and healthcare providers can implement the Talk.Test.Treat. strategy into their sexual health routine by doing the following:
- Talk openly with partner(s) and healthcare providers about sex and STDs.
- Get tested. 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.
Roseman University knows that sexual health is necessary for overall health. Be sure to check out two events we have scheduled this week concerning sexual health.
What A Cluster: The Intersection of Sexually Transmitted Infections, Social Determinants of Health and Public Health Nursing
The Registered Nurse Primary Care grant at Roseman University of Health Sciences is hosting a webinar entitled What A Cluster: The Intersection of Sexually Transmitted Infections, Social Determinants of Health and Public Health Nursing on Wednesday, April 14th from 11:00 am – 12:30 pm (PDT), 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm (MDT). For more information and to register for the event, please go to: https://bit.ly/April14Eventbrite.
This webinar will cover the following 4 objectives:
- Describe the current epidemiology of STIs/HIV.
- Discuss how social determinants impact the acquisition and transmission of STIs/HIV.
- Outline recommended screening and treatment guidelines for STI/HIV management.
- Identify the role of the public health nurse at a local health department (LHD) and the relation to primary care and health systems.
Neighborhood Health Series: Sexual Health Through the Years
On April 15th, 2021, at 5:30 PM (PDT), Dr. Christina Madison, Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice, and Dr. Tom Hunt, Chair, Department of Family Medicine, will team up (via Zoom) to talk about how age and mindset play a part in our sexual health. As a part of Roseman’s Neighborhood Health Series, they will talk about the aging process, what to expect, and how to stay healthy and connected to ourselves and to our partners as we move through the various stages of life.
April is a great time to raise awareness about what STDs are, but it’s also a time to take action to protect your own health or the health of those around you – whether they be a partner, a loved one, or a patient. Visit the CDC’s official website for more information, and be sure to join us this Thursday for our Neighborhood Health Series discussion.