Nashua Officials Hold Valentine’s Day Event Screening For STDs

Nashua Officials Hold Valentine’s Day Event Screening For STDs

Nashua Divi­sion of Pub­lic Health and Com­mu­ni­ty Ser­vice offered free STD test­ing Valentine’s Day to ensure res­i­dents enjoyed a dis­ease-free hol­i­day with its Give Your Valen­tine Any­thing But Love” event.

This is the sec­ond time the depart­ment host­ed the event, which also offered same-day test­ing for HIV, hepati­tis C and oth­er STDs. Accord­ing to the Nashua gov­ern­ment web­site, the test­ing set the stage for a more roman­tic Valentine’s Day that includes more than choco­lates and flow­ers with edu­ca­tion, com­mu­ni­ca­tion and test­ing. It said it was prob­a­bly the best gift any­body could get for Valentine’s Day.

Orga­niz­ers were hop­ing the event would alle­vi­ate the stig­ma that sur­rounds sex­u­al­ly trans­mit­ted dis­ease and encour­age peo­ple to talk about STDs. The event also includ­ed snacks, gift cards for ear­ly par­tic­i­pants and giveaway.

Pro­gram assis­tant Jes­si­ca Ayala said the clin­ic was dec­o­rat­ed to help peo­ple feel at ease about being test­ed for STDs. She said the idea behind the pro­gram was to open up dia­logue between cou­ples and to pre­vent the spread of STDs. 

The U.S. Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion announced in August 2018 that STDs were increas­ing dra­mat­i­cal­ly across the U.S. with 2.3 mil­lion new cas­es of chlamy­dia, syphilis and gon­or­rhea for the 2017 year. That’s 200,000 more cas­es than 2016

CDC Nation­al Cen­ter for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepati­tis, STD and TB Pre­ven­tion Direc­tor Jonathan Mer­min said the coun­try was slid­ing back­ward in its fight against sex­u­al­ly trans­mit­ted dis­eases. He said the sys­tems cur­rent­ly in place are unable to han­dle the ris­ing num­ber of cas­es – sys­tems that would iden­ti­fy, test and treat the pre­ventable STDs. 

Accord­ing to data, there was a 67 per­cent rise in gon­or­rhea cas­es. This is wor­ry­ing to offi­cials with the threat of untreat­able gon­or­rhea strains. Despite the rise in both pri­ma­ry and sec­ondary syphilis, chlamy­dia still remains the most com­mon­ly report­ed STD infec­tion with most of the new cas­es being diag­nosed in 15-to-24-year-old females. 

The event took place at the Com­mu­ni­ty Health Clin­ic on Feb. 14, but no word on just how many peo­ple par­tic­i­pat­ed in it. 


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