STI on the rise with young adults between the ages of 15 and 29
The Department of Health has expressed concerns over the increasing numbers of Sexual Transmitted Infection diseases in the territory.
In a statement released earlier today, the Department outlines that sexually transmitted infections - like gonorrhoea, chlamydia and syphilis are on the rise in American Samoa and that three out of 4 people with STIs are between the ages of 15 and 29.
The World Health Organization says STDs are an important global health priority due to their devastating impact on women and infants.
STDs can cause long-term health problems, particularly in women and infants. Some of the health complications that arise from STDs include pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, ectopic pregnancy, cervical cancer, and or congenital infections in infants born to infected mothers.
The good news is, the Department confirms that STIs can be treated and they offer free screening and treatment.
1. Why is it important to treat STIs?
-Testing and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can be an effective tool in preventing the
spread of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. If you are not tested or treated for an STI, it can cause long-
term complications and affect your partner. This is how STIs spread in communities.
-It is important to screen for STDs so you can stay informed about your SEXUAL HEALTH. Testing is the
ONLY way to know for sure whether you have a sexually transmitted infection. Get TESTED!
2. What type of screenings/treatments are available?
-Anyone can undergo a STI screening. Pregnant women, women age 21 and older, sexually active
women under 25, men who have sex with men (MSM), and those who have a new partner can all get
screenings at least once (6 months to a year).
-We offer the STD Basic Panel, that individually screens for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, Viral
Hepatitis and HIV.
-Antibiotics are prescribed in treatments.
3. Where can it be done?
-Screenings and treatments are offered at the Tafuna Health Center as well as the Communicable
Disease Clinic in Fagaima, which is located across from Wayland University.
4. How are the numbers of cases being calculated?
- Ages, genders, and races are used for calculating the number of STI cases.
5. Is the program proving to be effective in the community?
-Yes, community outreach programs and interventions that specifically target populations at risk for
STDs have had a significant impact on sexual behavior. We have been conducting community outreach
programs to inform individuals about healthy sexual practices and preventative therapy (disbursing free
condoms). It is encouraging for us that people are visiting our clinic for screening and treatment.
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