Australia: Keep It Safe on Valentine's Day
February 14, 2011
A state health expert is urging those who celebrate love's holiday to practice safe sex to help rein in STDs. "When you're planning the perfect Valentine's Day, don't forget to pick up condoms when you're shopping for flowers or chocolate," said Dr. Treeny Ooi, director of sexual health at New South Wales' (NSW) Hunter New England Health service.
"Making sure you are practicing safe sex is the best thing you can do for your partner this Valentine's Day and every day of the year," said Ooi, noting that NSW has more than doubled its reported chlamydia cases over the past seven years. Chlamydia is now the state's most frequently reported notifiable disease, with approximately 700 cases diagnosed in the first half of 2010, primarily among people ages 15-24. Young people under 26 are most at risk, and upwards of 10 percent may already be infected.
More than 62,000 cases of chlamydia were reported across Australia in 2009. The usually asymptomatic STD is curable with a single dose of antibiotics, but can cause infertility if untreated. "Many people with a chlamydia infection ? may unknowingly pass the infection to others," said Ooi.
"The messages are simple," Ooi continued. "To protect you and your Valentine, use condoms and have regular sexual health check-ups at your [general practitioner], sexual health clinic or Aboriginal Medical Service so that you know you're [STD] free," said Ooi.
Australian Associated Press
02.11.2011; Danny Rose
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
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