Free STD testing and treatment available at sites throughout state
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
April 4, 2011 William Gerrish
Hartford – The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH), in observance of Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Awareness Month, is encouraging people who are sexually active to consider their sexual health and “Get Yourself Tested” for STDs.
“The danger with STDS is that many are ‘silent’ and show no signs or symptoms. Unless you get tested, you may not know you have an STD,” stated DPH Commissioner Dr. Jewel Mullen. “STDs that are left untreated can lead to serious complications. People who are sexually active should be tested regularly so that they can get treatment early and avoid serious health problems.”
Last year, there were 15,403 cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis reported in Connecticut. Of the three diseases, chlamydia was the most prevalent with 12,687 reported cases. In Connecticut, African Americans were most affected by gonorrhea, accounting for nearly half of all reported gonorrhea cases. The state also saw a dramatic increase in cases of syphilis (42%).
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.
There are several public STD clinics throughout the state, which offer STD testing and treatment at no charge. People who would like to be tested for STDs should contact their local public clinic to see if they offer services at no charge. Anyone who is 13 years of age or older can be treated or tested for STDs confidentially and without parental consent. This year, Connecticut STD Testing Day will be recognized on April 7, encouraging those who are sexually active to get tested for STDs.
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.
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.