April is STD Awareness Month
April 12, 2021
ORLANDO, FL – The Florida Department of Health in Orange County (DOH-Orange) encourages the community to take precautions and to be aware of the long-term health impacts of STDs during Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Awareness Month.
The awareness effort provides an opportunity to increase the conversation about STDs and how they impact our lives. It also is an effort to ensure people have the tools and knowledge to prevent, test for, and treat STDs. Most STDs are easily diagnosed and treated, but they often have no symptoms and go undetected. When not found or treated, the disease continues to spread and can impact the health of others.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that for years, the U.S. has been battling steep, sustained increases in STDs. Recent estimates highlight that about 20 percent of the U.S. population – approximately one in five people in the U.S. – had an STD on any given day in 2018. Moreover, STDs acquired during 2018 cost the American health care system nearly $16 billion in health care costs alone.
Here in Orange County, based on available data, the 2020 STD numbers have actually decreased to 14,012 down from 15,241 STDs that were reported in 2019. The total numbers for the two prior years were 14,311 (2018) and 13,990 (2017). The COVID-19 pandemic might have impacted this year’s numbers in terms of limiting testing and reporting. Future data is needed to confirm that trend.
STDs are preventable. Anyone sexually active should talk to their partner and a doctor about risk factors, getting tested, and if necessary, getting treated to avoid additional health problems. For further information on testing or the program, you can contact DOH-Orange’s STD program at 407-858-1445.
The STD Program works to control transmission through four major avenues:
- Education of at-risk persons on the modes of disease transmission and the means for reducing the risk of transmission by changing sexual behaviors.
- Detection of infection in persons without symptoms, and those who are unlikely to seek diagnostic and treatment services.
- Diagnosis and treatment of persons who are infected.
- Evaluation, treatment and counseling of sex partners of persons with a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD).
About the Florida Department of Health
The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.