April is STD awareness month. So what do you need to be aware of?
According to the Center for Disease Control, there are about 20 million new STD infections each year in the United States, which totals 16 million in medical costs. These diseases include gonorrhea, chlamydia, hepatitis, herpes, trichomoniasis, syphilis, HPV and HIV. More than half of these diseases occur among America’s youths.
About 35 million people have HIV around the world. In the last thirty years, 30 million have died from the disease. Only weeks ago, scientists released information regarding new treatments ch are undergoing research for HIV. Genetically modified cells have been used to treat control groups and found to be effective in combatting the virus. Anti-virals given to HIV positive newborns can be used to eradicate the virus. Just days ago, the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston published their finding that healthy bacteria living in the vagina create a barrier to harmful bacteria and diseases like HIV. Scientists are still trying to determine which strains of bacteria will be most effective in preventing HIV.
It’s no wonder with all this recent news that the treatment of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases are being greeted with hopeful enthusiasm. Unfortunately, it will be years before these studies will benefit those who currently have a disease. Until that time, what resources are available? For those with HIV—or other STD’s for that matter—what can be done in the present?
This non-profit online resource is used to search diseases, find symptoms, treatment and help people self-diagnose so they can determine if they need to see a doctor.
HIV and STD Testing Resource
This website provides a map and listing of testing sites nationwide.
If someone catches an STD that can’t be cured and only contained, there is going to be a natural period of anger, frustration and fear. It is important to reach out to a support network and talk with other individuals who are going through similar circumstances. One such resource is Positivesingles.com. Their website describes their services as a dating website as well as a community for those with STDs. They offer free services and information about treatment, advice and help which doesn’t require a paid membership. Those interested in using the site to meet other singles who are infected with STDs can pay for that service.
National Chlamydia Coalition
This group encourages public awareness and provides education tools about chlamydia and other STDs.
Center for Disease Control
CDC is a federal agency dedicated to health related matters. Their website provides statistics and fact sheets, webinars, articles and current topics, lists diseases and information about them and provides a Spanish version of their website as well.
For information specific to AIDS worldwide, see this link below:
Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)
This organization provides the most up to date information and statistics on health and diseases.
Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization
525 23rd Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20037