The Henry and Stark County Health Departments and their First Choice Healthcare Clinics in Kewanee and Colona note that recently they’ve seen a rise in local Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). With an estimated 20 million new sexually transmitted infections occurring every year in the US, it is clear that STDs remain a widespread health threat in this country and even our state and region.
In addition, many STDs can be easily diagnosed and treated. It is common that many people will not have any symptoms when they are infected with an STD. This makes screening for STDs important to prevent serious health problems from untreated STD infections. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that half of all new STDs in the country occur among young men and women aged 15 to 24.
With all these disturbing statistics it is obvious that it’s an opportune time to remind area residents that the First Choice Healthcare Clinics offer confidential services:
- Free Condoms
- STD Testing for Males and Females
- Treatment of STDs
- Contraceptive Supplies
- Preventative immunizations against such STDs as Hepatitis B and HPV ~ Counseling, Education, and Referral
- Expedited Partner Treatment
Testing and knowledge of infection are vital to reducing the incidence and spread of STDs. Because many infections have no symptoms, those at risk need to get tested and find out if they are infected.
There are many actions you can take to protect yourself and others from STDs:
- Abstinence - The most reliable way to avoid infection with an STD are to abstain from sex or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner.
- Correct and consistent use of condoms - Consistent use of latex condoms reduces the risk of HIV and other STDs. (Free Supplies are available through First Choice Healthcare clinics in Kewanee and Colona.
- Screening - Getting tested and treated for STDs can protect you from serious health consequences caused by STDs. (STD Testing available at both First Choice Healthcare Clinics.)
- Immunizations - Receiving recommended Hepatitis B and HPV immunizations can almost completely prevent infections covered by the vaccines.
Though the subject of STDs may not be a comfortable healthcare issue to discuss, we want people to remember that our First Choice Healthcare locations in Kewanee and Colona are sources of confidential testing, treatment, and education. And we are literally just a phone call away. People should know we offer the tools and services people need to stay healthy.
For more information or appointments call First Choice Healthcare at (309) 852-5272 (Kewanee) or 792-4011 (Colona).