FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
April 28, 2010 William Gerrish
Hartford – The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH), in observance of Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Awareness Month, is recognizing Connecticut STD Testing Day tomorrow, Thursday, April 29, 2010. DPH urges people who are sexually active to consider their sexual health and “Get Yourself Tested” for STDs.
“Getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases is important as many STDs do not have signs or symptoms,” said DPH Commissioner Dr. J. Robert Galvin. “Early diagnosis and treatment of an STD may prevent serious complications and spread of the disease, helping to keep both you and your partners healthy.”
There are several public STD clinics throughout the state, which offer STD testing at no charge. For a list of clinics, visit the DPH Sexually Transmitted Diseases Control Program website at www.ct.gov/dph/std or call (860) 509-7920. Anyone who is 13 years of age or older can be treated or tested for STDs confidentially and without parental consent.
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) pose a serious public health threat to Americans – particularly young women, African Americans, men who have sex with men (MSM), and individuals living in poverty or with limited access to healthcare. Approximately 19 million new sexually transmitted infections occur every year in the United States – and almost half of these are among young people aged 15 to 24, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). One in four adults in the United States has an STD.
According to health officials, there are many effective ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat STDs. STD screening and early diagnosis are vital to prevent serious health consequences and continued transmission. Screening is particularly important since many STDs often have no signs or symptoms. The CDC recommends annual chlamydia screening for sexually active women under the age of 26. CDC also recommends that girls and women between the ages of 11 and 26 be fully vaccinated against human papillomavirus (HPV). This vaccine prevents infection with the main strains of HPV that cause genital warts and cervical cancer.
For sexually active MSM, CDC recommends annual HIV and syphilis blood testing and annual chlamydia and gonorrhea testing with more frequent testing for MSM who engage in high-risk behavior.
It is important that people who test positive for an STD notify their partners so that they can be tested and treated as well. If you have difficulty locating or telling your partners, there are confidential programs in place to assist with partner notification.
For a list of clinics or for information about partner notification, visit the DPH Sexually Transmitted Diseases Control Program website at www.ct.gov/dph/std or call (860) 509-7920.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health is the state’s leader in public health policy and advocacy with a mission to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of our state. To contact the department, please visit its website at www.ct.gov/dph or call (860) 509-7270.