The City of Amarillo Department of Public Health Clinic announced yesterday that the local rates of STI’s and STD’s appear to be on the rise. This is just another reason for people to take personal responsibility and get tested at least 1 a year. We encourage everyone to get testing. Please see the link below for the nearest locations in Amamillo, TX
Herpes: What You Should Know
Did you know that 1 in 6 teens and adults in the U.S. has been infected with genital herpes? With statistics like that, it’s likely that at some point you will probably have sexual contact with someone who has this infection. In fact, many people who have genital herpes aren’t even aware of their condition unless they undergo herpes testing. Being informed about this highly common and contagious sexually transmitted disease (STD) is your best protection from contracting it. Here are some of the most important things you should know about genital herpes:
The Genital Herpes Virus Explained
When you hear the term ‘herpes,’ the thought of an STD probably comes to mind. However, it might surprise you to know that the same herpes simplex virus (HSV) that causes cold sores also causes genital herpes. There are two types of the virus: HSV-1 and HSV-2. Most cases of genital herpes are caused by HSV-2, however, HSV-1 (of the lips and mouth) can also cause genital herpes if there is contact through oral sex. Both of these viruses can cause painful sores on the genitals, anal area or buttocks of those infected.
Preventing Genital Herpes
The only absolute protection from contracting genital herpes, or any STD for that matter, is to abstain from sexual contact completely or stay in a monogamous relationship with another individual who is STD-free. However, the next best option for herpes prevention is to always use latex condoms when engaging in sexual contact. Keep in mind that the virus is most contagious during a breakout, also called a flare-up, so it’s best to avoid sex during that time if your partner has the infection.
How To Know If You Have Herpes
Herpes affects each individual differently. Some who contract herpes may have painful, noticeable outbreaks while others may not even be aware that they have the disease and think it’s just a minor skin condition. Unfortunately, those who have herpes but don’t realize it are most likely to pass the infection on to others unknowingly. If you think you may have genital herpes, the best way to find out for sure is to look into herpes testing. You can do this by visiting your doctor for herpes testing or going through independent herpes testing and STD testing centers that can also determine whether or not you have been infected with the disease.
What To Do If You Contract Herpes
While there is no cure for herpes that will eliminate breakouts completely, there are options available to minimize the severity of breakouts or the timeframe in which they occur. If you do find you have contracted the disease after receiving herpes testing, one of the most common treatments is an antiviral pill that can be prescribed by your doctor. These can be taken only when breakouts occur or as a suppressive treatment (on a regular basis) to prevent outbreaks from happening often.
ATLANTA – Fewer black women in the United States are being infected with HIV, but the number of young gay and bisexual men infected is rising, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday.
Between 2008 and 2010, the number of newly infected black women dropped 21 percent, according to the CDC report. Yet despite the decline, they still accounted for 70 percent of all new HIV cases among women, the federal health agency said.
The rate of new infections for black women was 20 times higher than the rate for white women, the CDC said.
The number of new infections among young gay and bisexual men increased by 22 percent during that same two-year period, the CDC said.
The number of new HIV infections diagnosed annually in the overall U.S. population remained unchanged between 2008 and 2010 at about 47,500, according to health officials.
Public information campaigns on HIV prevention and testing seem to be working in lowering the number of new infections among African-American women, said Joseph Prejean, chief of the Behavioral and Clinical Surveillance Branch in the CDC’s division of HIV/AIDS Prevention in Atlanta.
“We are encouraged to see some declines among African-American women,” Prejean told Reuters. “They’ve been one of the most severely affected populations. We’re cautiously optimistic that this could be part of a longer-term trend.”
Among young gay and bisexual men, efforts to fight HIV have not been as effective, possibly because of advances in treatment for AIDS, the immune disorder caused by HIV, Prejean said.
“We do realize that many men who have sex with men do probably underestimate their personal risk and believe that treatment advances minimize the health threat,” Prejean said.
Even though treatment can prolong the life of an AIDS patient, Prejean cautioned that “their life really does change. They then begin to take medication and will take medication for the rest of their lives,” he said.
HIV is an incurable infection that costs $400,000 to treat over a lifetime, CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden said last month after another government report showed more than half of young Americans infected with HIV were not aware they had it.
Young people ages 13 to 24 account for 26 percent of all new HIV infections in the United States, the earlier CDC report said.
The report released on Wednesday said nearly two-thirds of new HIV infections in 2010 resulted from men having sex with other men. Young black men who have sex with men account for more new infections than any other subgroup, government health officials said.
“Because gay men account for 66 percent of all new infections, we must increase the focus of our prevention programs for gay men, particularly young and black gay men,” said Michael Ruppal, executive director of The AIDS Institute.
Today the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released estimates of HIV incidence among adults and adolescents in the United States for the years 2007-2010. These estimates, published in the online HIV Surveillance Supplemental Report, show that while the epidemic has been relatively stable overall at 50,000, per year, there are noteworthy findings among some hard-hit populations.
Comparing 2008 to 2010, new infections among African-American women has declined by 21 percent, giving us cautious optimism. This is the first CDC incidence report to show statistically significant declines among black women. However more time is needed to see if these trends will persist. Yet, disparities still persist and the burden is too high. Overall men who have sex with men (MSM) of all races and African American and Latino men and women are most affected. We continue to see troubling increases among young MSM. New infections have risen sharply in this group, the only group to experience statistically significant increases. CDC estimates that incidence in MSM aged 13 to 24 has increased 22 percent, comparing 2008 to 2010. Young black MSM continue to bear the heaviest burden, and now account for more new infections than any other subgroup.
To have the greatest effect possible on HIV prevention and care, we are working through a High Impact Prevention approach that directs every prevention dollar where it will have the greatest impact. CDC continues to fund and provide technical assistance to support state, local and community efforts, and expand HIV testing to the hardest hit populations. In addition, we are focusing on researching and engaging the community to better understand how to overcome the social, economic and cultural barriers that contribute to increase risk; and launching innovative communication campaigns.
Thank you all your dedication and continued work toward achieving an AIDS Free Generation.
/Jonathan H. Mermin/
Can the social network help prevent social diseases?
A University of North Carolina researcher thinks online social networks like Facebook have tremendous potential for halting the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). He envisions an app that could alert you to your risk of catching one based on its prevalence among your friends, according to an article at Salon.com.
After all, your real friends are often your online offline as well.
“When we looked at the networks, we could connect many of the cases to sexual encounters, and when we asked who they hung out with, who they knew, we could connect 80 percent of the cases,” said Peter Leone, a professor of medicine with the Center for Infectious Diseases at the University of North Carolina, at an international health conference recently.
Your circle of Facebook friends may be the best way to spread information about the risk of infection, in other words — giving a whole new meaning to the concept of “going viral.”
It’s just a concept for now, but it’s not as remote as you might think: James Fowler, a medical genetics professor with the University of California, San Diego, has already created an app that predicts your risk of catching the flu, capitalizing on status updates from your social network.
The app could warn you, “You have a chance of getting the flu today,” Salon said.
Changing real-world behaviors to slow the spread of sexually transmitted diseases has proven difficult, Fowler said, taking real, deep social contact. If people stat to see their friends talking openly about STDs online — spreading information about getting tested, for example — it may help to normalize behavior and reduce social stigmas.
“There is good evidence that [in terms of sexual behavior] we’re influenced by seeing what our friends are doing,” he said.
A new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates certain sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise in some groups.
“STDs continue to threaten the health and well-being of millions of Americans,” said Hillard Weinstock, one of the authors of “2011 Sexually Transmitted Diseases Surveillance” report in USA Today.
Of particular concern was chlamydia, which rose 8 percent in 2011, compared to the previous year; gonorrhea, which rose 4 percent; and syphilis, which held steady at 13,970 cases, despite a 1.6 percent decrease in 2010.
Young people, as well as gay and bi-sexual men are affected by these diseases more than others, according to Weinstock, a medical epidemiologist at the CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention.
If left untreated, STDs like gonorrhea and chlamydia can lead to infertility; and syphilis can lead to paralysis and even death.
Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) — A shocking one in every four teenage girls now has at least one sexually transmitted disease, according to the latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control.
North Dakotans and Minnesotans have seen huge jumps in chlamydia and gonorrhea infections, with nearly half of them coming from young people.
Fresonke: “it’s a pandemic is what it is. It’s the new pandemic”
It’s called an STD, or sexually transmitted disease, and 25 percent of teen girls will get at least one before ever turning 20.
Busta: “It’s awful that it’s gotten that high”
Fresonke: “It’s crazy to think that people before they even get into high school, even before they know what they’re doing, are having sex.
Not only having sex, but never thinking of the consequences. Nearly 19 million new STD infections now occur each year. And they don’t just target women.
Nelson: “Everyone who is sexually active, needs to be concerned about an STD”
Busta: “I’ve known a few people who have been worried that it could happen, and that turns out alright for them. But I know it’s been a scary process for them to not know. “
What many don’t know is how common the problem really is around here.
In North Dakota, 670 teens tested positive for chlamydia in 2011, up 30 from the year before, or an increase of about four and a half percent.
In Minnesota, that number jumps to more than 5 thousand- an increase of about 370 cases, or more than seven percent. But gonorrhea among young people is up even more.
Nelson: “twenty four percent, that’s a huge increase. The state would call that an epidemic”
An epidemic that could lead to infertility, birth defects, and much more, as many go unnoticed. 80% of women don’t have any symptoms.
Nelson: “people need to know partner’s sexual history. They need to use condoms 100% of the time”
Busta: “People don’t think it will happen to them, when it really is likely to happen to them”
So the best thing to do is get tested regularly, and treated quickly if necessary. Or abstain. Sexually active men and women should be tested at least once a year, as well as each time they switch partners.