National STD Awareness Month begins today

The Columbus Health Department is encouraging everyone to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases this month.

April is National STD Awareness Month, an annual observance sponsored by the American Social Health Association to bring attention to the growing crisis of sexually transmitted diseases in America. National statistics show STDs are occurring at epidemic levels, particularly among 15 to 29-year-olds, according to a Columbus Health department release.

What's more is the medical costs associated with STDs total over $8 billion each year nationally.

Georgia ranks third in Primary and Secondary Syphilis, 5th in Gonorrhea, and 6th in Chlamydia cases.

For more information call:

The National STD Hotline is 800-227-8922Georgia HIV/STD Hotline is 800-551-2728

Also, be sure to contact your local health department for additional information including the need for testing and treatment.

Free HIV ScreeningDate: April 1, 2009Time: 1:30pm – 4:30pmLocation: Columbus State University (Health Center) Columbus, GAContact Person: Olisa Woods-Pierce 706-321-6426

Free HIV ScreeningDate: April 2, 2009Time: 1:00pm – 4:00pm Location: Georgia Southwestern University (Health Center) Americus, GAContact Person: GSW 229-931-2235

Free Syphilis/HIV ScreeningDate: April 16, 2009Time: 1:00pm – 4:00pmLocation: Wilson Apartments (Community Room) Columbus, GAContact Person: Seletia Green 706-321-6413

For more information, contact the Columbus Health Department at 706-321-6108.