LAS VEGAS – Each year, it is estimated that there are 20 million new sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the United States. That is more than the entire populations of Hungary, Cuba, The Netherlands, Guatemala or the Czech Republic. April is STD Awareness Month and the Southern Nevada Health District encourages Valley residents to discuss their sexual health with their health care providers and their partners. Information, testing and treatment is available at the health district’s Sexual Health Clinic, 400 Shadow Lane, Ste. 106, (702) 759-0702. In addition, free weekly screenings are available at the Gay and Lesbian Center of Southern Nevada and the Richard Steele Boxing Facility. Information about the clinic and screenings are available on the health district website, www.SNHD.info/sexual-health-clinic.
In Clark County, there were 10,000-plus cases of Chlamydia in 2014 as well as 2,700-plus reports of gonorrhea. Nationwide, half of all new STIs occur in people between the ages 15 and 24. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that sexually transmitted infections cost approximately $16 billion in direct medical costs. The high incidence of STIs in the general population suggests that many Americans are at risk of exposure to sexually transmitted diseases.
The highest rates of infection occur in young women, African Americans, men who have sex with men, and individuals who have limited or no access to health care. The CDC recommends routine Chlamydia testing for women under age 26, and for women who are pregnant or have new or multiple partners. In addition, the CDC also recommends routine HIV testing for people between the ages of 13-64.
Untreated STDs can have long-term consequences. Left untreated gonorrhea and Chlamydia can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease in women, which can cause infertility. Each year, STDs cause at least 24,000 women in the United States to become infertile. If untreated, syphilis can lead to brain, cardiovascular and organ damage. In pregnant women, syphilis can result in congenital syphilis (syphilis in babies), stillbirths, infant death soon after birth (40 percent of cases) or physical deformities and neurological complications in children who survive. STDs increase the risk of HIV transmission for men and women. The CDC also recommends that men who have sex with men should also be tested for Chlamydia as well as gonorrhea and syphilis.
STDs can be easily treated and cured. As part of National STD Awareness Month, the Southern Nevada Health District encourages everyone to get tested and get the facts about sexually transmitted diseases. The health district’s STD clinic provides testing, treatment, exams, referrals, and counseling and the cost is $40; HIV testing is also available. All visits are confidential.
In addition to testing at the Sexual Health Clinic, HIV/ STD screenings are available at the following locations:
Saturday, April 4-10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Know Your Status monthly screening clinic
Monday through Thursday, free HIV/STD screenings
10:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Gay & Lesbian Center of Southern Nevada, (702) 733-9800
401 S. Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas
Tuesdays, free HIV/STD screenings
Noon – 5 p.m.
Richard Steele Boxing Facility, (702) 638-1308
2475 W. Cheyenne Ave, North Las Vegas