Health officials work to reduce chlamydia rates in Franklin County
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When a county experiences an increase in the number of individuals who are infected with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), it's up to local healthcare officials and safer sex advocates to determine why and reduce their rates. Recently, The Press Republican, a New York news source, reported that STD infections are on the rise in Franklin County, and a health survey is in progress to determine what is responsible for this spike.
In 2011, the number of teens between the ages of 15 and 19 in Franklin County who have chlamydia has increased by 44 percent. Public Health Director Katie Strack told the information provider that this could be due to more people visiting STD testing centers in New York, and therefore more cases are getting reported. However, this spike could also be attributed to more young people having unprotected sex.
Franklin County is certainly not the only place in the U.S. experiencing a rise in STD cases among young residents. The Centers for Disease Control and prevention recommends that women under the age of 25 get screened for chlamydia each year, because this STD is prevalent among this population. Furthermore, people between the ages of 15 and 25 account for nearly half of all new STD infections in the U.S. each year.
According to Strack, treating STDs is far more costly than preventing them
"It's expensive to see a practitioner compared to the cost of a condom. There’s a lot a condom does: It could prevent pregnancy [and] it could prevent genital warts and other organisms from causing bacterial infections like gonorrhea and syphilis," said Strack, quoted by the news source.
She added that there are many simple and confidential ways for teens to get free condoms through the public health office.
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