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FDOH-St. Lucie Encourages Prevention and Testing of Syphilis During STD Awareness Month

By Arlease Hall

April 04, 2018

The Florida Department of Health in St. Lucie joins the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in recognizing April as STD Awareness Month. Throughout the month, DOH-St. Lucie will be hosting and participating in screening and educational events to raise STD awareness.

This year’s efforts focus on the relationship between healthcare providers and patients with the theme: Treat Me Right to protect patients’ sexual health as a provider and stand up for your own sexual health as a patient.

“To prevent the spread of STDs or STIs, it is important to remember the 3T’s (Talk, Test and Treat). Talk to you partner and healthcare provider about risk factors and methods to reduce your chances of getting an STD, get tested, and get treated if you’re infected, to avoid additional health problems or further the spread,” said Clint Sperber, Health Officer for the Department of Health in St. Lucie County.

Syphilis infection rates have spiked in all regions of the country and across almost every ethnicity and age group. Some populations, such as gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men, and women are seeing higher increases than other groups. Cases of congenital syphilis (babies born with syphilis) are also increasing at an alarming rate. Having syphilis also makes it easier to get HIV and Hepatitis C.

To prevent the spread of all STDs, including syphilis, DOH-St. Lucie provides screening, counseling, treatment and partner notification services to persons infected with or suspected of being infected with STDs.

The only way to avoid syphilis and other STDs is to not have sex. However, if you are sexually active, you can do the following things to lower your chances of infection:

  • Be in a long-term, monogamous relationship with a partner who has tested negative for syphilis and other STDs;
  • Use condoms the right way every time you have sex;
  • Talk to your health care provider about getting testing for syphilis and other STDs or locate a clinic near you for free, fast and confidential testing;
  • If you test positive for syphilis or other STDs, get treated right away and be sure your sexual partner is treated as well to reduce the risk of re-infection.

FREE TESTING

April 2018 Outreach Events
Okeechobee, St Lucie, Martin and Indian River Counties
Free and confidential testing for Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), HIV and Hepatitis

Day/Time Location:

April 4, Wednesday, 2pm-4pm
Douglas Park 582 NW 13th Ave, Okeechobee FL

April 7, Saturday, 9am-1pm
Taylor Point Apartments 4885 38th Circle

April 13, Friday, 9am-1pm
Rogers Market 17068 SW Palm Beach Street, Indiantown, FL

April 15, Sunday, 12pm-3pm
Pride Fest 2018 - at River Walk Center 600 N Indian River Drive, Ft Pierce FL

April 16, Monday 3pm-5:30pm
Golden Gate Center 3225 SE Dixie Highway, Stuart FL

April 18, Wednesday 9am-1pm
Indian River State College 2400 SW Salerno Rd, Stuart FL

April 23, Monday 9am-1pm
Rines Market 15500 SW Trail Drive, Indiantown FL

April 26, Thursday 1:30pm-3:30pm
Whispering Pines Park 800 SW Darwin Blvd., Port St Lucie FL

April 27, Friday 9am-1pm
FL Dept. of Health in Martin County 3441 SW Willoughby Blvd., Stuart FL

April 30, Monday 1pm-3pm
Pioneer Park 2901 Ave M, Ft. Pierce FL

May 2, Wednesday 2pm-4pm
46th Ave Villas 2828 NW 46th Ave, Okeechobee FL

DOH-St. Lucie will partner and host several outreach events in April for STD Awareness Month. Testing is free for STDs and HIV. No appointment is necessary but a photo ID is needed.

For more information on STD Awareness Month, visit the CDC’s webpage. To learn more about the department’s STD program and services, click here.