CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – To help reduce the rate of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), Linn County Public Health is encouraging residents to GYT—Get Yourself Tested—during National STI Awareness Month. Throughout April, FREE STI (Chlamydia and Gonorrhea) and Rapid HIV testing is available between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday at Linn County Public Health.
STIs have been identified as a priority public health issue by the Linn County Community Health Assessment. In 2013, there were 1,102 Linn County residents who were diagnosed with an STI. The majority of cases are diagnosed in individuals between the ages of 15 and 24. Yet, the reported cases represent just a fraction of the true burden of STIs because many cases are undiagnosed. It is estimated that one in two sexually active young people will have an STI by age 25, but most won’t know because many STIs do not show symptoms. If left untreated, STIs can cause serious health problems and may even cause infertility.
April marks an annual observance to raise awareness about the impact of STIs and the importance of discussing sexual health with health-care providers and sex partners. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 20 million new STIs occur every year in the United States. However, STI screening can help detect infections early, and when combined with treatment, is one of the most effective tools to prevent the spread of STIs.
More information about STIs is available at www.cdc.gov/std or http://www.idph.state.ia.us/HivStdHep/STD.aspx?prog=Std&pg=StdResources. Call 319-892-6093 to speak with a nurse at Linn County Public Health. Linn County Public Health is located at 501 13th Street NW, Cedar Rapids, IA.