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Southern 7 Health Dept. shares tips on STD prevention during STD Awareness Week

Tomorrow marks the beginning of STD Awareness Week and the Southern Seven Health Department is using this time to encourage open conversations with healthcare
Published: Apr. 9, 2022 at 5:16 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Sunday marks the beginning of STD Awareness Week and the Southern Seven Health Department is using this time to encourage open conversations with healthcare professionals to prevent life-long health issues.

Community Outreach Coordinator, Shawnna Rhine has some tips.

“It’s important to know that generally all STDs are preventable either by following recommendations in order to prevent the spread, you can also get vaccinated against a couple of them. But again, prevention is the key when it comes to making sure that you don’t contract STDs,” Shawnna Rhine said.

“Well, a lot of STDs don’t even have any symptoms. So it’s best that if you notice something that’s just kind of off with your body and how you’re feeling, you should always contact your doctor about that. And talk with them about your sexual history and ask them if that’s something that you need to be had checked. If so, and if it turns out that you do have an STD, they can treat it with antibiotics and antivirals,” Rhine said.

“The other thing to also remember is that HBV and HPV are also preventable through vaccines. We test for gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis. We also vaccinate against HPV and HBV, and we can also test for HIV. So there are several tests that we do offer here at the health department. You can come to any one of your southern seven clinics that are in your county, or you can also come out to one of our Wow events which are going on in the next couple of months and get tested,” she said.

“STDs are very common in the United States. There are about 20 different varieties of STDs and Illinois we typically tend to see gonorrhea, syphilis, and Chlamydia as the most prevalent of ones. But again, it’s also important to remember that prevention is what we are focused on. We will also want people to understand that you know, having an STD is very common. And so we you know, we’re encouraging people to not discriminate, to be aware that it is a condition that is treatable, as well as preventable,” she said.

“Typically we see about 30% of cases within the age range of 15 to 24. And so that’s why it’s important to talk with your kids about prevention of sexually transmitted diseases and what they can do to protect themselves,” she said.

Rhine encourages you to talk to your doctor about what types of vaccines are available to you and what you can do to prevent the spread of STDs.

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