Sexually transmitted diseases including gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia are increasing in Santa Barbara County as well as across California and the United States, according to the county Public Health Department.
April is STD Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and the Health Department is campaigning for people and health-care providers to “talk, test, and treat” to reduce the problem.
The department advises individuals to:
- Talk openly with partners and healthcare providers about sex and STDs.
- Get tested for STDs, including HIV testing. (Because many STDs have no symptoms, getting tested is the only way to know for sure if you have an infection.)
- If you test positive for an STD, work with your healthcare provider to get the proper treatment. Some STDs can be cured with the right medication. Those that aren’t curable can be treated.
- Talk with patients about sexual health and safe-sex practices.
- Test patients as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Follow CDC’s STD Treatment Guidelines to make sure patients get successful treatment and care.
STDs are preventable, a spokesman said, undiagnosed and untreated STDs can cause many harmful, often irreversible, and costly clinical complications such as reproductive health problems, cancer, and transmission of HIV infection.
For more information, visit the Santa Barbara County Disease Control website at www.sbcphd.org/dcp.