Cumberland County Sees Improvement In STD Rates With Various Initiatives

Cumberland County health officials said the number of STDs in has declined in the last few years, and they hope the new initiatives being brought forth will lead to even more improvements.

According to records, Cumberland County ranks between fourth and sixth for the tracking six kinds of STDs. In the first nine months of 2018, the county saw a drop in the number of four STDs.

Between 2007 and 2015, Cumberland County had more chlamydia cases per 100,000 people than the rest of the state and national rates in every year but one. The numbers rose in 2016 but dropped in 2017. And, during nine months of 2018, the numbers were even less than in 2017.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the most common STD is chlamydia, which infects both men and women. In women, it can lead to permanent damage to the reproductive system. Women may have a harder time getting pregnant.

However, county health officials are making moves that would improve these rates even more.

The Health Department has included evening hours in October for the Sexually Transmitted Disease Clinic, which offers free, private services to those who want to be screened, tested, diagnosed, treated and counseling for HIV and other STDs.

The clinic’s hours are normally 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. However, every second and fourth Tuesday, the hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

According to sexually transmitted diseases and epidemiology nursing supervisor Asya Akins, people are taking advantage of those extended hours.

Director of nursing for the department Krystle Vinson, the extra hours means the clinic can see more than 30 residents more each month. She said it’s great because people don’t have to leave work early or take the day off to come to the clinic.

Health officials have implemented several community activities to reduce the STD numbers with a Communicable Disease Control Specialist assigned to the efforts. They’ve also left condoms at bars, motels, hotels, beauty shops and barber shops to get control over the epidemic.

Where community events are held, education tables are available to answer questions regarding the STD clinic. Akins said we tell those who ask what kinds of services are available for them.