January 14, 2008
The Centers for Disease Control says despite prevention efforts, the most common STI's are on the rise.
"Education, making sure that individuals are aware of these diseases, how to get screened for them and that they need to get tested if they have any symptoms," said Charlottesville Health Department Health Counselor Nick Mattsson.
That's just one solution to curbing the resurgency of the most common STI's. The CDC says that despite seeing much success last decade, cases are again beginning to rise. Local officials say part of the reason is socio-economic.
"Individuals who have lower economic status have less access to care and don't get the same amount of educations regarding the care," said Mattsson.
They say they're going to have to come up with new methods of reaching people. One idea is using the internet--giving people access to information at places like social networking sites or other online social mediums.
"We're actually going into the sites and looking at how we can provide education and again resource information so they know where they can get tested," said Mattsson.
And as the problem continues to grow, so does the price tag. The report estimating that STI's cost the U.S. health system over $15 billion a year. A cost officials say can be trimmed if people catch their diseases early on.
"It's much less expensive to do the tests and to treat them, than to provide care for individuals that are having serious health consequences," said Mattsson.
Mattson says getting screened is key, and if you're sexually active, get tested.
"It doesn't matter how many partners you have, if you're sexually active, it's good to get tested once a year," said Mattsson.
The Charlottesville Health Department does offer free testing. If you have any questions you can call 434-972-6278.