Augusta, GA (WJBF) – See what experts are saying about the two and what you need to do to stay safe.
APRIL IS STD AWARENESS MONTH AND LOCAL HEALTH EXPERTS SAY IT’S A GOOD TIME TO LEARN YOUR STATUS.
Myra Howard// Communicable Disease Specialist RCHD
“share the information with your family and friends you know we’re just not talking about it enough,” said Myra Howard, Communicable Disease Specialist RCHD.
Local health experts say now is a good time to start erasing the stigma associated with sexually transmitted diseases.
“This is a great oppurtunity for us to tell the community about the critical importance of addressing HIV and STD’s,” said Chris Morfaw, District HIV/AIDS program coordinator.
Doctors say an STD can not only effect you right now, it can also impact your future, especially if you want to have children.
“If they’re not treated early enough in the infection and the infection goes on for a few months or longer and they’ve not been adequately treated it can hinder their ability to have children in women and in men as well,” said Myra Howard, Communicable Disease Specialist RCHD.
So doctors say, if you think you have an STD, get checked immediately. Knowing your status now can help you plan for the future.
“It’s extremely stressful when they get to point in there life that they’re ready to start their family and then have difficulty conceiving and struggle with infertility issues,” said Kathryn Knodel, OB/GYN
Richmond County has one of the highest STD rates in the state of Georgia.
“In our area we have approximately 2200 individuals who are living with HIV/AIDS out that approximately 75% those live right here in Richmond County”
Experts say you should get tested annually to make sure that you are not infected and putting others in harm’s way.
“Also recommend that you share your results with your partner so that you both are on the same page, that you’ve both had a check up and you know what your status is,” said Myra Howard, Communicable Disease Specialist RCHD.