Local STD Rates Steady

By WBNG News

July 22, 2010 Updated Dec 17, 2009 at 7:12 PM EDT

Nationwide, the number of teens contracting a sexually transmitted disease, is up.

Locally, that rate has stayed steady.

But as Action News Reporter Caitlin Nuclo tells us, getting tested can be the first step in curbing the national trend.

"Teens are having sex earlier with more partners," said Debra Marcus with Planned Parenthood of South Central New York.

Which is why more teens are contracting sexually transmitted diseases.

Nationwide, in 2008, 1 point 5 million cases of Chlamydia and Gonorrhea were reported to the Centers for Disease Control.

Making them the most common infectious diseases in the US.

"There is a really high, high risk, now, especially if you are having more than one partner," said Kim Embry of the Life Choices Center.

Abstaining will keep you clean of STDs.

And practicing safe sex can lower the chance of infection.

"The recent CDC study said looking at 2008 figures, almost a quarter, 1 in 4 women ages 15-19 and ages 20-24 had a sexually transmitted disease," said Marcus.

Planned parenthood tests between 5,000 and 6,000 people a year.

Locally, over the past 3 years, the number of people who tested positive for an STD has remained steady.

"It is so, so important for women and men be tested for sexually transmitted diseases, particularly women because Chlamydia and Gonorrhea seldom have symptoms in women," said Marcus.

Both Chlamydia and Gonorrhea, can be treated with antibiotics.

But if they go undiagnosed, they can lead to life-long health problems.

Planned Parenthood says in 2009, 10 percent of the women, between the ages of 15 and 24, tested positive for Chlamydia.

13 percent had the Human Papillomavirus, or HPV.

"A lot of the choices that we are seeing our young people make, are harmful," said Embry.

The Life Choices Center in Binghamton counsels teens.

Over the past few years, It has seen a spike in the amount of people seeking support.

Both Life Choices and Planned Parenthood offer support and educational services to men, women and teens.

If you'd like to get tested you can contact Planned Parenthood by calling 1-800-230-PLAN.

Or log onto their website, www.ppscny.org

You can also contact the Life Choices Center if you're in need of mentoring or counseling.

At 723-3540 or log onto www.lifechoicescenter.org

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