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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.