April Is STD Awareness Month

by Mackenzie Stasko on April 8, 2013 at 6:51 am

The Muskingum County Health Department says more than 80-percent of people are unaware that they have an STD because most of them show no symptoms. The Sexual Health Clinic at the Muskingum County Health Department offer free HIV and Hepatitis C testing and also offers Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis and Herpes testing for a nominal fee.

"There was over 200 cases of Chlamydia with 40-percent of the 200 being teenagers and high school students. The age range on the Chlamydia was 14-59. So we have some young kids getting sexually transmitted diseases," said SEO Regional Epidemiologist, Kristen Baker.

Baker says even though Muskingum County is more rural, the county’s Chlamydia rates are comparable to large cities like Columbus. In 2012 there were 34 new cases of Gonorrhea and three new cases of HIV bringing the total to 67 people in Muskingum County knowingly living with Aids.

"Some of them area treatable and you can get rid of them by just taking antibiotics for ten days or a day but some of them you live with for the rest of your life. So every other partner you’re going to have from now on you’re going to say well, I’m positive and then you run the risk of will this person accept me or not."

Baker says it’s important to protect yourself and really know your partner’s sexual history. All visits at the Sexual Health Clinic are confidential and you can call the office to schedule an appointment.