Cobb & Douglas Public Health (CDPH) is hosting free HIV testing and counseling in observance of National STD Awareness Month on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at their Marietta Public Health Center.
Nearly 20 million new sexually transmitted infections occur in the United States every year costing the American healthcare system nearly $16 billion in direct medical costs alone, says a report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Even more alarming, having a sexually transmitted disease (STD) increases your risk of getting or sharing HIV.
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Cobb & Douglas Public Health
Marietta Public Health Center, Building A Boardroom
1650 County Services Parkway
Marietta, GA 30008
According to the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH), Georgia showed an increase in STD infection rates and the state now ranks 2nd among the 50 states for infection of primary and secondary syphilis. There were 87 cases of congenital syphilis (a severe, disabling, and often life-threatening infection seen in infants that is passed from the mother who has syphilis) reported from 2011 – 2015, the most recent data range available.
As in previous years, the most infections were reported among persons aged 20–24 years and 25–29 years. Per the CDC, Georgia is currently ranked 5th among the 50 states in the number of HIV diagnoses. About 1 in 6 people with HIV in the United States do not know that they are infected.
“Rates of STD infection across the country continue to increase,” said Rachel Franklin, Director of Epidemiology at Cobb & Douglas Public Health. “Cobb and Douglas counties, as part of the Metro Atlanta Area, contribute to a significant portion of the infections in Georgia, but we hope testing events like these will help residents understand the importance of getting tested and practicing safer sex options like condom use. Aside from abstinence, condoms are the most effective way to prevent STDs like syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia and HIV.”
Most STDs don’t cause any symptoms and the only way to know for sure whether you have an STD like syphilis or HIV is to get tested. Many methods of birth control are effective at preventing unintended pregnancy, but the only birth control method that protects against STD infections is condoms. Untreated STDs can also lead to complications with reproduction, and may cause death.