APRIL IS STD AWARENESS MONTH; TAKE ACTION TO MITIGATE STD INCREASES IN ARIZONA, NATIONWIDE
Rate of Syphilis Babies in Arizona Doubled in 2017; Gonorrhea Cases Have Increased 94% Nationwide in Past 5 Years
PHOENIX, Ariz. (April 8, 2019): With the number of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) on the rise in Arizona, STD Awareness Month is an opportunity to learn about syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia, how to treat them and how to prevent their transmission to others, according to Brenda “Bré” Thomas, CEO at the Arizona Family Health Partnership (AFHP).
The Arizona Department of Health Services’ STD Annual Report reported a 16 percent increase in STDs from 2016 to 2017, with STDs on the rise in Arizona for more than a decade. According to the report, more than 54,000 STDs were reported in Arizona in 2017, including cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis.
Chlamydia is the most commonly reported STD with nearly 40,000 cases reported in Arizona just in 2017. Gonorrhea, the next most commonly reported STD, has increased 94 percent in the last five years. While syphilis is not as commonly reported as chlamydia and gonorrhea, the effects of syphilis can be devastating, particularly in pregnant women who can pass the disease on to their babies. The rate of syphilis in babies doubled in 2017.
“The only way to stem the tide of this growing health problem is through education, treatment and prevention,” Thomas said. “Title X-funded health clinics across the state provide confidential low-cost or no-cost healthcare services which are vitally important in addressing this healthcare challenge.”
AFHP, a 501c3 nonprofit agency which recently received a $5.2 million Title X Family Planning Grant from the Department of Health and Human Services to continue providing quality, confidential reproductive healthcare services to low-income women, men and teens in Arizona, collaborates with seven partnering agencies serving more than 35,000 individuals at 33 health centers throughout the state.
AFHP also manages two additional websites: www.sexfyi.org, which provides unbiased, medically accurate information about a variety of birth-control methods that are listed by effectiveness; and the Collective Resource Hub, an online clearinghouse of resources to support and encourage positive health and well being for professionals serving youth in Maricopa County (www.CollectiveResourceHub.org),
For more information about the Arizona Family Health Partnership, visit www.arizonafamilyhealth.org
I spoke with Bre Thomas for our Valley Views public-affairs program ..