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Licking County has one of the highest rates of gonorrhea in the Central Ohio Region

04/18/2016 LICKING COUNTY, OHIO – April is STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease) Awareness Month.  Every year there are over 20 million new cases of STDs in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Half of these new STD infections occur among young people ages 15 to 24 even though this age group makes up only 25% of the sexually active population. There are many negative outcomes of having an STD, including an increased risk for HIV infection. 

Common STDs are chlamydia, gonorrhea, HPV, herpes, and syphilis.  STDs are spread during close sexual activity which includes oral, vaginal, and anal sex. Left untreated, they can cause serious health problems which include cervical cancer or inability to have children. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis have been steadily increasing nationally for the last ten years. Licking County now has one of the highest rates of gonorrhea in the Central Ohio region.

Sexually active persons can protect themselves from STDs by using latex condoms or by having sex with only one partner who is known not to be infected with an STD. Reducing the number of sex partners can decrease the risk for STDs. It is still important that both individuals having sex with one another get tested, and they share their test results with one another.

It is advisable to watch for any symptoms of an STD such as discharge, burning, or pelvic or abdominal pain. However, it is important to know that many infected persons have no symptoms.  They do not realize that they are passing along an STD when they have sex.  Therefore, routine STD testing is advised for many individuals, especially those who have multiple sex partners, those who do not consistently use condoms, or who engage in other high-risk behaviors such as using drugs or alcohol.
 
The only way to determine if one has an STD is to be tested.  The Licking County Health Department offers a free, confidential STD clinic each Wednesday by appointment only. Appointments can be made by calling (740) 349-6535. For more information, please visit: www.lickingcohealth.org or visit: www.cdc.gov/std
“The Licking County Health Department serves more than 160,000 citizens in the Licking County General Health District by preventing disease, protecting the environment and promoting healthy lifestyles with a vision of healthy people living in healthy communities.”
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