April is National Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Awareness Month, and this week is STD Awareness Week. To raise awareness about STDs and encourage the public to get tested, the Norwalk Health Department announces new expanded hours for our sexual health clinic. The Health Department will offer STD testing on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm and on Fridays from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm. These new hours were launched in April but will remain in place year-round! Appointments are recommended but not required. Please call (203) 854-7776 to schedule an appointment.
Getting yourself tested protects and controls the spread of STDs. The Health Department encourages STD testing once every 6 months regardless of symptoms. Many STDs have no signs or symptoms, so testing is the only way to know your status. Early detection can help prevent the spread of STDs and reduce major complications and negative health outcomes. For example, common STDs like chlamydia and gonorrhea are major causes of infertility among women if the infection goes untreated. These and other common STDs can also increase the risk of HIV transmission for both women and men.
STDs are a serious public health concern nationwide and locally. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that approximately 20% of the population (1 in 5) people in the U.S have a sexually transmitted infection (STI). In 2018, there were nearly 68 million infections and 26 million new STIs. Almost half the reported new cases occur among young people aged 15 to 24, but it’s important to note that people of all ages, backgrounds, and cultures can be infected with an STD. According to the Connecticut Department of Public Health, 391 cases of chlamydia, 91 cases of gonorrhea, and 10 cases syphilis were reported in Norwalk in 2019 (the most recent year for which data are available).