Monday, April 4, 2011

W.O.R.T.H clinic offering free STD testing

Rome, Georgia, – April is Sexually Transmitted Disease Awareness Month.

On Saturday, April 9, 2011 the W.O.R.T.H. clinic will offer free chlamydia and gonorrhea testing all day from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 1513 Dean St. in Rome. This is a urine based test and no physical examination is necessary.  Chlamydia and gonorrhea are bacterial infections that are easily treated if detected early, says Marilyn Ringstaff, clinic director.

If left untreated, chlamydia and gonorrhea are major causes of infertility and ectopic pregnancies among women. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conservatively estimates that about 24,000 women a year become infertile because of undiagnosed and untreated chlamydia and gonorrhea, Ringstaff says. These and other common STDs can also increase the risk of HIV transmission for both women and men.

According to the CDC, chlamydia rates are at a historic high. In 2009, a record 1,244,180 cases of chlamydia were reported. This was a 2.8 percent increase over the 2008 rate and the largest number of cases for any condition ever reported. This is also less than half the estimated 2.8 million chlamydia cases that are believed to be out there

The CDC states that the estimated 19 million new STD cases a year cost $16.4 billion a year in health costs. STDs pose a serious public health threat to Americans – particularly to young women, African Americans, men who have sex with men (MSM), and individuals living in poverty, uninsured or who have limited access to healthcare.

There are many effective ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat STDs. Because many STDs often have no signs or symptoms, STD screening and early diagnoses are vital to prevent serious health consequences and increased transmission. More information about STDs is available at Appointments are not necessary for this free testing day. For more information, patients may contact the clinic at (706) 232-3408.

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