Know the Facts:
- By the age of 25, 50% of sexually active people will get an STD.
- STDs can be spread through any sexual activity, including oral sex.
- Most STDs have no symptoms.
- You can get an STD even if you’ve only had one partner.
- STDs can cause serious problems like not being able to have children if left untreated.
- Teens can get STD testing without their parent’s consent.
- For places to get tested near you, visit: https://gettested.cdc.gov/
In Lincoln County, Chlamydia Is The Most Commonly Reported STD.
What Is Chlamydia?
Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by a bacteria. Chlamydia is known as a ‘silent’ infection because most infected people have no symptoms but it can infect both men and women and can cause serious, permanent damage to a woman’s reproductive organs.
Where Can I Go For Testing In Lincoln County?
Testing for STDs can be done with your personal provider, family planning clinics, and with OBGYNs. In Lincoln County there is a family planning clinic located in Tomahawk at 318 North Seventh Street and can be reached at 1-800-246-5743 with questions or to schedule an appointment.
What Does The Health Department Do With Chlamydia Cases?
If you live in Lincoln County and test positive for chlamydia, a nurse will contact you to educate you on the following topics: proper treatment of the infection, how to prevent spread or re-infection of chlamydia, and review sexual partners and will help you contact them to make sure they receive proper testing and treatment. All information about the person who is infected is kept confidential and is not told to the sexual partners by the Health Department. The nurse will also answer any questions you have about chlamydia and other STDs and is able to refer you to treatment centers.
How Do People Get Chlamydia/Who Is At Risk?
People get chlamydia by having sex with someone who has the infection. “Having sex” means anal, vaginal, or oral sex. Chlamydia can also be spread from an affected women to her baby during childbirth. Any sexually active person can be infected with chlamydia. Having sexual practices that make you are risk for becoming infected with chlamydia also make you at risk for other STDs such as Hepatitis B and C as well as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The Lincoln County Health Department is able to vaccinate you for Hepatitis B and A but there are no vaccines currently for either Hepatitis C or HIV.
What About Partners?
If a person has been diagnosed and treated for chlamydia, he or she should tell all anal, vaginal, or oral sex partners from the past 2 months so that they can see a healthcare provider and be treated. This will reduce the risk that the sex partners will develop serious complications from chlamydia and will also reduce the person’s risk of becoming re-infected. A person with chlamydia and all of his or her sex partners must avoid having sex until they have completed their treatment for chlamydia (i.e., seven days after a single dose of antibiotics or until completion of a seven-day course of antibiotics) and until they no longer have symptoms.
To help get partners treated quickly, healthcare providers may give patients extra medicine or prescriptions to give to their sex partners. This is called expedited partner therapy or EPT. Sex partners should still be encouraged to see a healthcare provider, regardless of whether they receive EPT.
Latex male condoms, when used consistently and correctly, can reduce the risk of getting or giving chlamydia. The surest way to avoid chlamydia is to abstain from vaginal, anal, and oral sex or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and is known to be uninfected.
Resources for Parents of Teens
Parents, did you know that 1 in 2 sexually active young people will get a sexually transmitted disease (STD) by the age of 25? Help prevent STDs in your children by talking to them about sex. Although this topic is uncomfortable, parents are a great resource for their children in this topic. Take time to discuss family values and beliefs, boundaries, and safe and healthy emotional and physical relationships. For more information on how to start the conversation visit: http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/lets-talk-month.