STD numbers going down in Florida county
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There are often articles in the news about how sexually transmitted disease (STD) rates are rising in the U.S. This is why it's always a pleasant surprise to see when these infections are going down in certain parts of America. According to the Seminole Chronicle, STD cases are decreasing in Seminole County, Florida. However, many challenges still remain.
The latest figures show that infectious syphilis cases are down 23 percent in the county, compared to this time in 2011. Marianela Smyth, health service representative for the Seminole County Health Department, told the news source this is a welcome change that she attributes to public service campaigns and outreach efforts. Chlamydia cases have also decreased in the area, but not as much as syphilis.
Unfortunately, there are still many challenges. According to the news source, in the first week of October, 2011 there were 199 gonorrhea cases reported in the county. This October the number of cases has gone up 33 percent. Sandra Zow-Johnson, STD/HIV program manager for the Seminole County Health Department, told the Seminole Chronicle that this rise in gonorrhea cases is not unique to the county, but is happening across all of Florida.
This is particularly concerning considering that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that gonorrhea has progressively grown resistant to the drugs that are commonly used to treat it. If left untreated, this infection can leave a woman infertile.
Young people are particularly at risk of developing an STD, which is why the county has opened a teen clinic to address the needs of this population.
"If we can educate [young people] now, we can prevent the rise of these diseases in the next generation," Smyth said, quoted by the Seminole County. "Because if the risk behavior is there, then it becomes a lifestyle."
It's important for individuals of all ages in the area to visit STD testing center centers in Florida to learn if they have an infection.
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