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Florida Department of Health Leon County recognizes National STD Awareness Week

Recognized April 10 through April 16
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Posted at 9:17 PM, Apr 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-11 21:21:06-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida Department of Health in Leon County (DOH Leon) joins the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and others in recognizing April 10-16 as Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Awareness Week.

This year’s theme is, “Get Yourself Tested.”

Nationally and here in Leon County, sexually transmitted infections remain a serious public health concern.

“Working together to build awareness will help prevent the spread of STDs throughout our community,” said Sandon S. Speedling, MHS, CPM, CPH, DOH Leon Interim Health Officer in a statement. “Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t know they have an STD because many STDs show no signs or symptoms. This week and throughout the month of April, DOH Leon is placing special emphasis on how to prevent STDs and the importance of testing and treatment.”

In 2021, Leon County documented 107 cases of infectious syphilis. New case rates (incidence rates) are up among men who have sex with men but are also rising among heterosexual partners and across the board among young people. Cases of congenital syphilis (babies born with syphilis) are also increasing. DOH Leon works closely with a diverse group of community and health care partners to confront the uptick in syphilis rates. These groups meet regularly sharing data, prevention strategies, and trainings.

Throughout the week, and during the rest of this month, DOH Leon's Disease Intervention Specialists will support and participate in screening an educational outreach activities to raise STD awareness. Among them, a free and confidential mobile HIV/STDs testing event in Frenchtown with Neighborhood Medical Center.

The mobile event will take place April 29 at the Time Saver Convenience Store, located at 518 W. Brevard Street in Tallahassee from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

To prevent the spread of all STDs, including syphilis, DOH Leon provides free screening, counseling, treatment, and partner notification services to persons with or suspected of having STDs at our clinics. Call 850-404-6403 to speak with a specialist, confidentially, about any matter and get linked to care.

The best way to avoid contracting a sexually transmitted infection is by not having sex.

However, if you are sexually active, you can do the following things to lower your chances:

  • Be in a long-term, monogamous relationship with a partner who has tested negative for syphilis and other STDs;
  • Use protection the right way, including condoms;
  • Talk to your health care provider about getting testing for syphilis and other STDs or locate a clinic near you for free and confidential testing;
  • If you test positive for syphilis or other STDs, get treated right away and be sure your sexual partner is treated as well to reduce the risk of re-infection.