Despite the current Coronavirus pandemic, the CDC is working tirelessly on multiple unrelated projects that are equally important. One such project is scheduled to begin in mid-April 12 to 18th, it’s the STD Awareness Week.
The timing couldn’t be more perfect. Since chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis cases have skyrocketed over the years, it’s crucial to put these numbers under control.
Many patients are going to family physicians for advice on STDs. That’s why it’s important to be vigilant on how to guide patients to manage these infections. Here, we will talk about everything you need to know about the STD Awareness Week scheduled for 2020 and why it’s important.
What Is It About?
Since gonorrhea cases have risen by 67%, syphilis by 81%, and chlamydia being at an all-time high, this program is now more important than ever.
Awareness Week is an annual project meant to educate people on proper healthcare and antibiotic prescribing when dealing with a certain health issue. The one planned for 2020 will focus on increasing awareness of the impact of STDs and the way they affect our day-to-day lives.
The primary focus for STD Awareness week will be:
- Improving awareness
- Providing the right preventive tools
- Removing any stigma, discrimination, or fear of STDs
- Increasing the knowledge of family treating and testing for STDs
There are just too many people infected in the United States with a disease that can easily be prevented. As a result, the CDC decided to go through with this year’s program. The idea is to make a difference and improve the public’s health, not just for the grownups, but for the newborn babies as well.
Why Is It Important?
These STDs are known to cause numerous health issues and stillbirths. If patients don’t get adequate treatment, they risk transmitting their infection to the fetus. The longer the STD manifests in the body, the higher the chance of permanent health complications.
In 2017, there were more than 60 stillbirths from untreated syphilis and a dozen infant deaths stated the Washington Post. This is not something to be taken lightly.
In 2019, the AAFP (American Academy of Family Physicians), issued a complete guideline on addressing these problems and helping family physicians handle patients in need of STD treatment.
This is not the first time the STD Awareness Week was planned. Every April, for the last few years, the CDC has scheduled the event. The only difference is that this time, the program will have a much shorter time frame. Regardless, there will still be enough time to complete all the goals, stated Dr. Gail Bolan, the director of the STD Prevention division at the CDC.
The Different Campaigns Available
Due to the various local prevention needs in a certain community, the program will provide 4 different campaigns, each tailored to a specific audience and focus. The following campaigns will focus on:
- Why communication, testing, and treatment is important – The three key methods vital for healthcare providers when managing a patient with STD: Treatment, Talking, and Testing.
- How to encourage the younger population to get tested – Ways to inspire young people to get treated and tested for HIV and STDs.
- The syphilis outbreak – Focus on pointing out all the necessary information on syphilis and how it becomes a serious problem for newborns, pregnant women, bisexual and gay men.
- The need for the right treatment – How to encourage patients to manage the current increase in STD rates with adequate treatment.
Every campaign will have a different set of materials that family physicians can use. That includes optimized graphics, social media posts, brochures, fact sheets, etc. However, we have to wait until the middle of March for more details on the campaigns and the materials they will implement.
According to Dr. Bolan, the STD field is constantly changing. With time, the infections become flexible and adapt, which is why it is important, to learn how to control and prevent these health complications.
With the STD Awareness Week, people can get a glimpse of the unwavering commitment of the CDC on stopping the diseases.