University of Illinois Raises Sexually Transmitted Infections Awareness
April 20, 2006
As part of April's National Sexually Transmitted Diseases Awareness Month, the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District is offering residents and health care providers information about STDs, screening, diagnosis and treatment. CUPHD also provides three weekly STD clinics for all residents.
"Champaign County is one of the highest counties in the state of Illinois in STD rates," said Julie Pryde, director of Infectious Disease Prevention and Management for CUPHD. "And the high rate of STDs is not due to a lack of access, people can easily obtain free condoms from public health centers.
"Syphilis has become a problem in the last few years," said Pryde. "We have had two outbreak alerts here in the past several years."
CUPHD is currently experiencing a syphilis outbreak, said Sonya Kuykendall, a CUPHD public health nurse. "From an epidemiological standpoint, [Champaign County is] following the trend of larger cities," she said. "Because Champaign is a college town, people are mobile, transient they come and go, and with [STDs]."
CUPHD and the county Public Health Department are focusing on a national educational campaign to reduce STD prevalence and incidence. "We do targeted outreach, such as putting up posters and Internet outreach," said Kuykendall. Nurses in the infectious diseases division also visit local jails, juvenile detention centers, schools and homeless shelters. "People just need to use prevention," said Pryde. "If they're not going to be abstinent, use condoms or latex barriers."
04.18.2006; Megan McNamara, Daily Ilinni (University of Illinois)
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.