Certain Counties in North Central Florida Have High STD Count
The latest STD rates have just been released for our area.
And it doesn't look good.
Numbers are rising in the state.
And even more so in parts of North Central Florida.
According to the Florida Department of Health Alachua County ranked as the fourth highest in the state for those testing positive for STD's.
Cynthia Heard, Senior Health Educator, said "Education is a really important part."
Sex education is crucial but sometimes lacking, according to the people with the Alachua County Health Department.
Despite programs to educate people about the importance of safe sex...
Counselor Cynthia Heard says the problem is the younger people are... less likely to know about proper protection.
"What gets me most is the young teenagers...'And why is that?' Because they dont have the knowledge," said Heard.
According to the CDC almost half of those newly diagnosed with an STD are between the ages 15 to 24.
New STD data reflects that information.
Alachua County had the fourth highest ranking in new STD diagnosis throughout the state of Florida.
Other counties in our area did not rank as high.
Gilchrist ranked 51 in the state.
While Marion was 26th.
And Columbia 20th.
Roger Dolz from the Alachua County Health Department says the reason for the higher numbers could be because their county is a younger county saying, "Healthcare providers need to get in touch with the younger population and provide testing and provide education because they need it."
Heard just hopes no one questions whether or not they should be tested...
But just do it.
"Everyone should make it a part of their annual health care. For guys if they go for physicals they need to have the HIV and all the STD testing. And same as with women."
But for now both say the best thing to do is to educate yourself so you can take the proper steps to prevent an STD.
The Alachua County Health Department provides STD testing five days a week.
The charges for testing vary based on income level.
For more information about STD and HIV testing in your county check your counties health department website.
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