Thursday, March 26, 2015

Herpes and other STI are on the rise in Tennessee

New statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control show a rise in STDs. Arkansas, Mississippi, and
Tennessee are high on the lists.

The specific STDs that are highest in the region are chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis.
While the number of cases of most STDs — genital warts, gonorrhea, herpes and syphilis — have remained relatively level since 1996, when the data used for this report started, the rate of Chlamydia has doubled from 200 cases per 10,000 people to more than 400 cases reported in 2008.

A website dedicated to cataloging academic content on the Internet, has used data from the Centers for Disease Control to map the state-by-state rate of sexually transmitted diseases reports — and Tennessee ranks 11th in the nation in reported cases of STDs, with 60 cases per 1,000 people, according to site data.

When compared to other states in the Southeast — the site uses a map colored with four shades of red to denote concentration of reported STD cases by state — Tennessee fares relatively well. States with rates besting Tennessee’s 60 include: Arkansas (50), Florida (43), Kentucky (35), North Carolina (58), Virginia (46) and West Virginia (25).

The only states in the nation with higher rates: Alabama (72), Alaska (69), Delaware (63), Georgia (66), Illinois (65), Louisiana (82), Michigan (61), Mississippi (97), Ohio (61), South Carolina (78).

According to the CDC, Chlamydia is the most frequently reported STD in the United States. It is often referred to as a “silent” disease because symptoms are usually mild or absent, but complications that cause irreversible damage, including infertility, can occur "silently" before a woman ever recognizes a problem.

What is herpes?

Herpes is a contagious viral infection that affects an estimated 45 million Americans (more than one in five. The infection is caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). There are two types of HSV and bothcan cause the symptoms of genital herpes. HSV type 1 most commonly causes sores on the lips (knownas fever blisters or cold sores), but it can cause genital infections as well. HSV type 2 most often causesgenital sores, but it also can infect the mouth. The virus remains in certain body nerve cells for life,causing periodic symptoms in some people. Many people who are infected with HSV never develop anysymptoms.

How is herpes transmitted?

The infection is usually acquired by sexual contact with someone who has genital herpes. People with oral herpes can transmit the infection to the genital area of a partner during oral-genital sex. Herpesinfections also can be transmitted by a person who is infected with HSV but has no noticeable symptoms. Such asymptomatic shedding of the virus may be fairly common, occurring from 5 percent to 20 percent of the time in infected individuals. In Tennessee, it is a crime to expose another to herpes disease.

How to deal with herpes

Genital herpes as a diagnosis is not a death sentence, but managing and coping with herpes will be an ongoing part of life. If you have been recently diagnosed or if you are just curious, start researching now. The more information gleaned about a subject, the less frightening it is. 

You don't have to deal with all this on your own. If you feel uncomfortable talking about your feelings with people you know, you can hash things over with others who have herpes, join online Tennessee herpes support group.  Be assured that you're not the only person in this situation. A counselor or therapist can also help you resolve some issues.

For more information about STDs, talk to your health care provider or call:
The State of Tennessee HIV/STD Hotline: 1-800-525-2437
(Monday through Friday 8:00 to 4:30 p.m. CST)
The CDC National STD Hotline: 1-800-227-8922

1 comment:

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