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Category: Sexually Transmitted Diseases
A report released this month noted that the number of sexually transmitted disease cases in South Dakota has risen from the median average of the last five years. Published by the state's Department of Health, the results detailed the increase in cases of gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV and chlamydia.
According to the findings, HIV and chlamydia rose the least, with instances for both in the neighborhood of 22 and 25 percent increases, respectively. However, it was gonorrhea and syphilis that saw the biggest spike in cases, as their numbers were up by 76 percent and 1,050 percent, respectively.
Many STDs can go untreated, as they do not display noticeable symptoms. For instance, those infected with HIV would display symptoms equivalent to that of a flu or common cold. Because of this, these diseases are not detected unless specifically tested for.
"Sometimes you'll never know. It's simply found by screening and that's the scary part," said Melissa Shefl, a physician's assistant at the Sanford Health Vermillion Clinic in South Dakota.
"The majority of the people we see are 15- to 24-year-olds, and that is your student as far as high school student to a college student," added registered nurse Joan Beach, a member of the Family Planning department at Vermillion.
In order to spread HIV awareness on college campuses, Planned Parenthood and the Sanford Health Clinic work together throughout the year, teaching the importance of practicing safe sex and getting tested regularly for STDs.
Facts about STDs in America
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated in a February 2013 report that in a single year, there are almost 20 million new cases of sexually transmitted diseases. These can cost the American health care system nearly $16 billion in direct costs alone. Additionally, the CDC noted that young adults between the ages of 15 and 24 make up almost half of all the newly reported cases in the country.
Some of the most common STDs include chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV and syphilis. There is no gender bias when it comes to STDs, as the CDC went on to report that the split between men and women living with STDs is 49 percent and 51 percent, respectively.
Since the cost of treatment can be catastrophic, it is imperative that those at risk should screen themselves for any traces of disease. The availability of home blood testing and lab tests online can help prevent the spread of STDs and HIV.
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