April is National STD Awareness Month, a time for every population to learn about protecting themselves and stopping the spread of sexually transmitted infection in our community.
Millions of Americans are being reported as having a gonorrhea, chlamydia, or syphilis infection every year.
Chlamydia is the most frequently reported bacterial disease in the United States. According to the 2009 national data, Virginia is ranked 25 among states for total morbidity with a rate of 397.8 just slightly lower than the national average of 409.2. The city of Richmond had a rate of 1,078 per 100,000 in 2009.
The infection of gonorrhea is not as high as Chlamydia and has been on a decline. However, Richmond continues to see the highest rates among ages 15 to 24. Due to increased screenings, it was estimated that in 2010, a total of 19,000 cases of gonorrhea and Chlamydia were prevented, saving close to 11-million dollars in direct costs.
It has been one of the least occuring STD’s in Richmond but rates have drastically increased. According the most recent data of reported syphilis cases, the city increased from 15 in 2006 to an estimated 40.1 in 2010. The reports have increased due to a growth in number of men have sex with men (MSMs) living in Richmond and increased confidence in HIV treatments.
The City of Richmond ranks the second highest in newly reported cases of HIV, Richmond’s rate is more than four times that of the entire state at 1204.7 (Virginia’s rate of 296). This data is based on the number of cases reported in 2009.
The Richmond City Health District will hosts Free Testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections on Thursday, April 18 from 1 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Enjoy music, line-dancing, and most importantly, GET TESTED to learn your STI status!
Check up on your health family at the Virginia Department of Health!