Customizable Article - #TalkTestTreat
The pre-written article below can be adapted and used by health departments, community-based organizations, journalists, bloggers, media, or others looking to spread the word about STD prevention to groups such as your partners, local decision makers, or the general public.
How can I use this article? The article can be shared on listservs, online, in newspapers, magazines, blogs, or newsletters. It is customizable – you can use data from your state or county to make it more meaningful to the people in your community.* You can customize this article further by adding an optional quote from someone, such as a spokesperson, health official, or a member of your organization’s leadership. A placeholder in the text indicates where a quote could be inserted.
Where can I find STD data to customize the article? Reported data for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis can be accessed by contacting your state or local health department, browsing CDC’s STD Surveillance Report tables, or using CDC’s AtlasPlus (a tool that allows you to access state and county level data for these and other reportable diseases). If you need national data to fit your needs, please refer to the STD Surveillance Report tables or national “State of STDs” infographicCdc-pdf.
*CDC includes cases of primary and secondary (P&S) syphilis when referenced within these articles. P&S syphilis are the most infectious stages of the disease and therefore are helpful for understanding syphilis trends across the country. Using local P&S syphilis data is encouraged for the fairest comparison with what is happening nationally.
The customizable article begins below.
STDs Surge Across the US: CDC [or your organization] says Talk.Test.Treat.
Three common STDs have increased sharply across the United States for the fourth year in a row. To help reverse this trend, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) [or your organization] is calling on individuals and healthcare providers to take these three actions to protect themselves, their partners, and their patients from STDs: Talk, Test, and Treat.
In 20XX alone, [your jurisdiction] had XX cases of chlamydia, XX cases of gonorrhea, and XX cases of syphilis. More than two million cases of the three STDs combined were reported nationwide. Congenital syphilis—syphilis passed from a mother to her baby during pregnancy or delivery—has also dramatically increased. [Your jurisdiction] has had XX cases since 20XX.
“Across the nation, these data mean our work is more important than ever – and we can all get involved,” says Gail Bolan, MD, Director of CDC’s Division of STD Prevention. “CDC and other federal organizations, community leaders, health departments, community-based organizations, health care providers, and individuals can all take action at work, in our schools and communities, and at home to make a difference.”
Untreated STDs Can Have Serious Effects
Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are curable with the right medicines, yet most cases go undiagnosed and untreated – which can lead to severe health problems that include infertility (inability to become pregnant), ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the womb), stillbirth in infants, and increased HIV risk.
Anyone who has sex can get an STD, but some groups in the U.S. [or your jurisdiction] are more affected than others: young people aged 15-24, gay and bisexual men, and pregnant women [select the population(s) with high STD burden in your jurisdiction]. Prior studies suggest a range of factors may be at play – from socioeconomic challenges, like poverty, to issues of stigma and discrimination.
[“Insert OPTIONAL Quote from health official, spokesperson, or other organizational leadership,” said [enter name, title, organization. “Insert second part of quote as indicated/appropriate.”]
The good news? All STDs can be prevented and treated, and most can be cured. Here’s how individuals and healthcare providers can add the Talk.Test.Treat. strategy into their health routine:
- Talk openly with partner(s)External and healthcare providersExternal about sex and STDs.
- Get tested. Because many STDs have no symptoms, getting tested is the only way to know for sure if you have an infection.
- If you test positive for an STD, work with your doctor to get the correct treatment. Some STDs can be cured with the right medication. Those that aren’t curable can be treated.
Healthcare providers can
- Providing the best care possible means talking with patientsCdc-pdfExternal about sexual health and safe sex practices.
- Test patients as recommended by CDC.
- Follow CDC’s STD Treatment Guidelines to make sure patients get successful treatment and care. CDC offers a free app for AppleExternal and Android devicesExternal, so that you can access the guidelines from wherever you are.
April is STD Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness about what STDs are, but it’s also a time to take action to protect your own health, or the health of those around you – whether they be a partner, a loved one, or a patient. Visit the official website for more information on how you can talk, test, and treat.