South Carolina is the seventh most “sexually diseased state” in the nation, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
Since 2013, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis have all sharply increased – with more than two million of these infections reported in the U.S. in 2017 alone, according to the CDC.
For South Carolina, the chlamydia rate per 100,000 people is 575.5 and the gonorrhea rate per 100,000 people is 187.8.
When it comes to HIV, the numbers also continue to rise. In 2017, there were 4,478 residents of the Pee Dee Public Health Region living with a diagnosis of HIV (including AIDS). This represents 23 percent of the S.C. total. Of these, 2,965 were men and 1,513 were women.
April is STD Awareness Month. The purpose of the month is to spread the word about what sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are and how they impact people’s lives, as well as to reach communities about why it’s so important to prevent, test for, and treat these infections.
Here are some tips for STD prevention:
- Use latex condoms every time you have sexual intercourse.
- Avoid sharing towels or underclothing
- Wash before and after intercourse
- Get a vaccination for Hepatitis B. This is a series of three shots.
- Get tested for HIV.
- If you have a problem with drug or alcohol abuse, seek help. People who are drunk or on drugs often fail to practice safe sex.
- Consider that not having sex- or having just one partner who only has you as their partner- is the only sure way to prevent STDs.
CareSouth Carolina offers HIV & STD testing, as well as pre-and-post-test counseling, care management, medications, behavioral health and many other services.
CareSouth Carolina is a private, non-profit community health center delivering patient-centered health and life services in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina. CareSouth Carolina operates centers in Bennettsville, Bishopville, Cheraw, Chesterfield, Dillon, Hartsville, Lake View, Latta, McColl and Society Hill.