Thursday, April 1, 2010

April is STD Awareness Month

April is STD Awareness Month. Maine CDC’s STD program conducts disease surveillance for gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis. Disease intervention specialists provide critical follow-up activities, including notification of disease; treatment verification for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and HIV; and partner services for all.

The HIV, STD and Viral Hepatitis Program funds STD clinics in Portland, Bangor, and Lewiston, and partners with the Family Planning Association of Maine and Planned Parenthood of Northern New England on the Infertility Prevention Project, which targets females 15-24 years-old and their partners.

Chlamydia is the most frequently reported STD in Maine, with 2,443 cases in 2009. Chlamydia disproportionately affects individuals in the 15-24 age group, and is reported in three females for every one male.

Gonorrhea typically affects a slightly older age range than Chlamydia, but during 2008 and 2009 nearly half of diagnoses occurred in the 15-24 age range, while less than a quarter were 25-29 years-old. There were 143 cases of gonorrhea reported in 2009, and 60 cases have already been reported in the first three months of 2010. We are seeing more cases among females and fewer diagnoses among men who have sex with men (MSM).

Over the past decade, annual syphilis counts have varied and until recent years had remained low, with fewer than 5 cases during most years. Cases counts peaked in 2008, with 20 cases, compared to 14 last year. Syphilis in Maine affects MSM disproportionately.

For more information about National STD Awareness month visit: www.cdcnpin.org/stdawareness or www.gyt10.org

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