April Is STD Awareness
Month—Protect your health: talk – test - treat.
Sexually transmitted diseases
on the rise
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[April 16, 2016]
SPRINGFIELD - Every year there are
an estimated 20 million new sexually transmitted disease (STD)
infections in the U.S. Nationally, recent Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention data show cases of three reported STDs—chlamydia,
gonorrhea, and syphilis—all increased for the first time since 2006.
In Illinois, the number of chlamydia and syphilis cases
increased in 2014 from the previous year, while gonorrhea cases
decreased. There were more than 66,500 chlamydia cases, almost
16,000 gonorrhea cases, and approximately 1,680 syphilis cases in
2014 in Illinois.
"Any increase in STDs, especially in young people, is concerning,"
said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D. "While chlamydia and
gonorrhea infections may not cause any symptoms, undiagnosed
infections could lead to lifelong consequences, especially in women,
such as pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility."
Similar to the U.S., half of the STDs cases in Illinois are in
people under 25 years of age. Young people ages 15-24, gay,
bisexual, men who have sex with men, and some minority groups have a
higher risk of becoming infected with an STD. Behavioral factors,
such as not using condoms, contribute to the increased risk in these
groups. In addition, difficulty accessing quality health care also
contributes to the higher STD burden among these groups.
STDs are preventable. Effective strategies for reducing STD risk
- Abstinence - The most reliable way to avoid infection
is to not have sex (anal, vaginal or oral).
- Reduce the number of sexual partners – Reducing your
number of partners can decrease your risk for STDs.
- Use condoms – Correct and consistent use of the male
latex condom is highly effective in reducing STD transmission.
Use a condom every time you have anal, vaginal, or oral sex.
- Mutual monogamy – Mutual monogamy means that you
agree to be sexually active with only one person, who has agreed
to be sexually active only with you.
- Vaccination - Vaccines are safe, effective, and
recommended ways to prevent hepatitis B and HPV.
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Take three simple actions to protect your health: Talk. Test.
- Talk - Talk openly and honestly to your partner(s)
and your health care provider about sexual health and STDs.
- Test - Testing is the only way to know for sure if
you have an STD.
- Treat - If you test positive for an STD, work with
your doctor to get the correct treatment.
To find a testing site near you go to:
For more information on STDs go to:
[Illinois Department of Public