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[ISDH]Health Officials Encourage Prevention During STD Awareness Month
Start Date: 4/15/2014Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 4/15/2014
Entry Description

INDIANAPOLIS—April is STD Awareness Month and State health officials encourage Hoosiers to understand how sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs) can damage overall health. STD Awareness Month provides an opportunity for individuals and groups to discuss prevention and testing for STDs, especially for Indiana’s youth. Half of all new sexually transmitted infections that occur each year are among youths.


“Prevention means not only protecting yourself from becoming infected with an STD, but also not passing on an STD to another,” said State Health Commissioner William VanNess, M.D. “Talk to your healthcare provider and know your status.”


Sexually transmitted diseases can be spread through vaginal, anal and oral sex, or may be passed from mother to baby before, during or after birth. An STD like syphilis can cross the placenta and infect the baby. Pregnant women with an STD could experience:

·         Premature labor or rupture of the membranes

·         Stillbirth

·         Low birth weight

·         Preterm birth


In Indiana, Chlamydia continues to be the most frequently reported sexually transmitted disease in the state with 29,505 cases reported in 2012. Unfortunately, most people who have Chlamydia may not have symptoms and do not realize they are infected. 

Gonorrhea is the second most commonly reported bacterial STD in Indiana and the United States, and is most often found in 15-24 year old population. In 2012, there were 7,338 cases of gonorrhea reported in Indiana. The complications of untreated Chlamydia and gonorrhea include pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility and ectopic pregnancy.

Syphilis can cause long term complications if not adequately treated and often symptoms may go unnoticed in the primary stage. Syphilis must be diagnosed through a blood test. In 2012, there were 224 cases of primary and secondary syphilis reported in Indiana.

People can protect themselves by abstaining from sex, being in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and has negative STD test results and consistent and correct use of latex condoms. Vaccination is also very important to protect yourself from hepatitis B and Human Papillomavirus (HPV).


To learn more about STD Awareness Month, visit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at


Visit the Indiana State Department of Health at, for important health and safety information, or follow us on Twitter at @StateHealthIN and on Facebook at





Contact Information:
Name: Ken Severson
Phone: 317.233.7104
Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Announcements
  • Category:
  • Family & Health
  • Agency Name
    Health, Indiana State Department of

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