STDs on the rise

Published 6:55 pm Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A recent study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated there are 19.7 million new Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) each year in the U.S., costing the American healthcare system a total of $15.6 billion in medical costs alone each year. Fifty percent of the new STD infections each year occur among young people between the ages of 15 and 24.

Another study conducted by NC Family, estimated that 26 percent of young women between the ages of 14 to 19 who live in the United States are infected with human papillomavirus (HPV), chlamydia, herpes simplex virus, and/or trichomoniasis. This equates to one in four teenage girls which adds up to approximately 3.2 million teenage girls in our country being infected with a STD.  The two most common infections reported are HPV (18 percent), and chlamydia (4 percent).  Some locations and populations are much more severely affected with nearly half being infected. HPV can often lead to serious complications such as disfiguration and cervical cancer, while chlamydia can result in Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) and infertility.

VOICES/VOCES is a program offered through the Beaufort County Health Department and designed to help keep these diseases from spreading through our community.  The program is offered to groups of 4-8 individuals 16 years of age and older. The program is a short video and discussion to encourage individuals to have a voice in their current or future relationships. The program can be scheduled at any time that is convenient to work with an individual’s schedule.  All those who attend a VOICES/VOCES program session will receive a gift card. For more information or to schedule a VOICES/VOCES session, contact JaNell Lewis at 252-940-5090.