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November 16, 2018
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STD Awareness & Information
Get yourself tested!
 

What are Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are passed from one person to another through intimate physical contact – such as heavy petting – and from sexual activity including vaginal, oral, and anal sex. STDs are very common. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 20 million new infections occur every year in the United States. STDs can mostly be prevented by not having sex. If you do have sex, you can lower your risk by using condoms and being in a sexual relationship with a partner who does not have an STD. STDs do not always cause symptoms, so it is possible to have an infection and not know it. That is why it is important to get tested if you are having sex. If you are diagnosed with an STD, know that all can be treated with medicine and some can be cured entirely.1

 

Increase in Sexually Transmitted Diseases

On September 26, 2017, the CDC issued a statement that STDs were at a record high.  Jackson County, Oregon has also seen increases in chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis over the past five years. Preliminary data show that in 2017, Jackson County saw the highest number of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and primary and secondary syphilis (early syphilis) cases. 

Some reasons to why STDs are increasing are:

  1. Increases in intercourse without condoms due to reduced risk of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission from people with HIV who take anti-retroviral medicines2
  2. Reduced local public health infrastructure and capacity to investigate cases, notify partners and bring them in for screening and treatment3
  3. Abundance of mobile apps facilitating “hook-ups” with anonymous sexual partners4
  4. Use of methamphetamine and other stimulants, increasing sexual drive while decreasing inhibition5
 
 

 

Tips to Prevent Getting an STD

The good news is that STDs are preventable.  There are steps you can take to keep yourself and your partner(s) healthy:

  • Practice Abstinence: The most reliable way to avoid infection is to not have sex (i.e., anal, vaginal, or oral)
  • Have Fewer Partners: Reducing your number of sex partners can decrease your risk for STDs. It is still important that you and your partner get tested, and that you share your test results with one another.
  • Mutual Monogamy: This means you agree to be sexually active with only one person, who has agreed to be sexually active with only you.  Being in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner is one of the most reliable ways to avoid STDs. But you must both be certain you are not infected with STDs. It is important to have an open and honest conversation with your partner.
  • condomUse Condoms: Correct and consistent use of the male latex condom is highly effective in reducing STD transmission. Use a condom every time you have anal, vaginal, or oral sex. If you have latex allergies, synthetic non-latex condoms can be used. But it is important to note that these condoms have higher breakage rates than latex condoms. Natural membrane condoms are not recommended for STD prevention. Know your CONDOM DOs & DON'Ts. The Right Way to Use a Male Condom.
  • Talk with Your Partner: Talk with your sex partner(s) about STDs and staying safe before having sex. It might be uncomfortable to start the conversation, but protecting your health is your responsibility.
STD Testing

Many STDs don’t have symptoms, but they can still cause health problems. Getting an STD is not the end! Many STDs are curable and all are treatable. If either you or your partner is infected with an STD that can be cured, both of you need to start treatment immediately to avoid getting re-infected. Find a STD testing site near you!

Screening recommendations:

  • All adults and adolescents from ages 13 to 64 should be tested at least once for HIV.
  • Annual chlamydia screening of all sexually active women younger than 25 years, as well as older women with risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners, or a sex partner who has a sexually transmitted infection.
  • Annual gonorrhea screening for all sexually active women younger than 25 years, as well as older women with risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners, or a sex partner who has a sexually transmitted infection.
  • Syphilis, HIV, chlamydia, and hepatitis B screening for all pregnant women, and gonorrhea screening for at-risk pregnant women starting early in pregnancy, with repeat testing as needed, to protect the health of mothers and their infants.
  • Screening at least once a year for syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea for all sexually active gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM). MSM who have multiple or anonymous partners should be screened more frequently for STDs (e.g., at 3-to-6 month intervals).
  • Sexually active gay and bisexual men may benefit from more frequent HIV testing (e.g., every 3 to 6 months).
  • Anyone who has unsafe sex or shares injection drug equipment should get tested for HIV at least once a year.

Jackson County Public Health offers confidential STD testing and treatment. This means that no one will be given information about your visit except for you. Please call 541-774-8209 to schedule an appointment for STD testing or if you have question about the cost of services. You can also visit the Jackson County STD Clinic webpage.

You can also make an appointment with your healthcare provider, or a provider of your choice to receive testing and treatment.

STD in Jackson County, Oregon

Increase in Gonorrhea Cases
Gonorrhea Cases
 

Increase in Syphilis Cases
Syphilis Cases
 

Increase in Chlamydia Cases
Chlamydia Cases

REFERENCES
1. Sexually Transmitted Diseases –What are STDs. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. https://www.cdc.gov/std/general/default.htm. Updated November 20, 2017. Accessed May 30, 2018.
2. Paz-Bailey G, Mendoza MC, Finlayson T, et al. Trends in condom use among MSM in the United States: The role of antiretroviral therapy and seroadaptive strategies. AIDS. 2016; 30:1985–90.
3. Hoots BE, Lewis FM, Anschuetz G, et al. Would targeting increase efficiency of syphilis partner services programs?—Data from New York City, Philadelphia, Texas, and Virginia. Sex Transm Dis. 2014; 41:407–12.
4. DeSilva M, Hedberg K, Robinson B, et al. A case-control study evaluating the role of internet meet-up sites and mobile telephone applications in influencing a syphilis outbreak: Multnomah County, Oregon, USA 2014. Sex Transm Infect. 2016; 92:353–8.
5. Taylor MM, Aynalem G, Smith LV, Montoya J, Kerndt P. Methamphetamine use and sexual risk behaviours among men who have sex with men diagnosed with early syphilis in Los Angeles County. Int J STD AIDS. 2007; 18:93–7..