By: Kathie Johnson, RN Health Dept.
September 20, 2013
While North Carolina has seen an overall decline in most Sexually Transmitted Diseases, also referred to as STDs, Sampson County has seen an increase. Sampson County saw a 124% increase in the number of Chlamydia cases from 2010 through 2011. Although many people are not familiar with Chlamydia, it is the highest ranked STD in our county with almost 300 cases reported last year. People with Chlamydia usually do not have symptoms so they are unaware that they are infected and spreading the disease. This can have very unfortunate consequences because it is an STD that can cause multiple reproductive problems, including sterility, if not appropriately treated.
Gonorrhea, a more well-known STD, has increased by 143% in the past two years. Men are more likely than women to have symptoms, but both can be asymptomatic and continue to spread Gonorrhea because they have not received treatment for the infection.
Sampson County has also seen an increase in the number of HIV/AIDS and Syphilis cases. Sampson County ranks 36th in the state for the number of HIV/AIDS cases with an increase of 133% from last year and ranks 40th in the state for Syphilis with an increase of 125% from last year.
Pregnant women infected with any of the STDs can pass the disease to their unborn infant. Infants can develop a variety of infections and diseases, including eye infections, ear infections, pneumonia, birth deformities, or even die from disease.
The Sampson County Health Department works hard to prevent the spread of Sexually Transmitted Diseases in the community through outreach and educational presentations. Health Department staff provides opportunities to a variety of community organizations. Organizations interested in an STD presentation can contact the Sampson County Health Department.
The Health Department offers STD services to residents at no cost to them. The services include screening for several types of reproductive infections, some of which are not sexually transmitted. The infections screened for include: Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Trichomoniasis, Bacterial Vaginosis, Yeast Infection, HIV, Syphilis, Genital Warts and Herpes. The service includes an assessment, physical exam and testing. Treatment is also offered at no cost for most of the diseases. Clients are seen either by an appointment or as a walk-in.
For more information, please call 910-592-1131, ext. 4972. To schedule an STD appointment, please call 910-592-1131, ext. 4001, 4220 or 4960.