Leon County looking to fight against STD increase

Leon County looking to fight against STD increase
Leon County looking to fight against STD increase
Posted at 4:53 PM, Aug 29, 2018

LEON COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) - U.S. health officials are asking the Trump administration to declare Sexually Transmitted Diseases a public health crisis in America.

That's because a new report from the Center of Disease Control shows rates of syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia have gone up.

Nearly 2.3 million cases were reported in the U.S.

This tops the previous record in 2016 by over 200,000 cases.

Locally, Leon and Gadsden Counties both have very high rates of Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Infectious Syphilis.

In 2015, the rate of these three STDs was 1,042 per 100,000 residents in Gadsden County. And in Leon County it was 1,357 per 100,000 residents.

Florida's overall average in 2015 is 587 cases per 100,000 residents.

With students just returning to classes at Florida State, Florida A&M University, and Tallahassee Community College, this is a concern. The health department says in Leon County, people from ages 15 to 24 are considered high risk.

Currently, the Leon County Health Department is seeing an increase in Chlyamidia and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

According to the 2018 County Health Rankings, Leon County leads all of Florida's 67 counties of newly diagnosed cases.

The department is taking initiatives to try to decrease the amount of people effected by educating people on how to fight against STD's.

"I think awareness and preventative measures makes a difference. Being able to know your sex partner's status," said Dale Harrison, Regional STD Area Manager. "Also, to use preventative measures like condoms and thing of that nature."

The department also offers an STD prevention program that provides confidential counseling, testing, and treatments for anyone exposed to or diagnosed with an STD.

Doctors here hope to see change within the community. They recommend that you get tested regularly in order to put your health first.

All three diseases are treatable, but if left untreated, women could suffer from permanent damage to the reproductive system, and men to the prostate.

Heart and nervous system issues are also concerns for patients.