Newsworthy

Douglas County Sees Progress In Fight Against STDs, but plenty of work remains

By Julie Anderson / World-Herald staff writer
Mar 28, 2018

Douglas County Ranks High in STI Transmission

“Adi Pour, director of the Douglas County Health Department, attributed the slowing of the county’s STD rates to local efforts to address the problem early on. While national data for 2017 isn’t yet available, the county’s STD rates in the past have ranked among the highest in the nation.”

Douglas County’s “…Efforts include campaigns to educate young people about sexual health and to increase STD testing and treatment. Leading the way, she said, has been the Adolescent Health Project, launched by the Women’s Fund of Omaha in January 2014.

 Funding from the health project has allowed the county to extend hours at its STD clinic at 41st and Pacific Streets and to conduct testing and education at outreach centers such as city libraries and Metropolitan Community College sites. 

Last year, the county educated more than 22,000 people about STDs and distributed more than 373,000 condoms. Visits to the STD clinic have increased steadily since 2013.

Brenda Council, coordinator of the health project, said the numbers are encouraging. “This is a situation that has existed in this community for nearly 20 years,” she said. “We still rank high per capita in the nation, but we’re seeing our work is having an impact.”

The health project also has sponsored several public health campaigns aimed at reducing STD and teen pregnancy rates over the past several years, including educating young people and teaching parents how to talk to them.

More information about STDs, testing locations and related topics including ways to talk to your kids about protecting themselves are available at Get Checked Omaha from Adolescent Health Project and do it TODAY!

Testing Now!

  • Find a testing location closest to you by going to Service Directory of HIV resources.
  • Locate the “Testing” category and you’ll find the list in alphabetical order.
  • Testing is easy and painless unless you get stage-fright and can’t pee in a cup or it hurts too bad when you get a finger prick…
  • Knowing your status makes you more confident in the moment when you need to choose to protect or…Wonder tomorrow and the next day and the next…Should I or…When should I get tested…And for which STI’s?
  • Take the guesswork out of your life and use a condom EVERYTIME and make protection fun!

Lily says…Kids usually don’t think before they do, or there would be no reason for the words “grounded”, “restriction”, or “Lock-down”! Maybe none of these were words used when you were growing up and got in trouble, the kind of trouble that netted something more severe than just a stern talking-to or yelling-at by your parents, but whatever the word(s) were it was the feeling you felt about it all that you remember most. True? I was grounded a few times but like most kids I remember my Mom yelling at me more than the actual grounding itself. The yelling hurt my feelers and the grounding just meant I could hang out in the confines of my room and pretend to be remorseful if a parent popped their head into the room. As I got older restricting me wasn’t the answer, and I know at some point they knew I was on my own. If I chose something that ultimately would get me in to trouble I’d pay the price.
Then came HIV, and I learned another look in my parent’s eyes, disappointment, which was way worse than getting yelled at or restricted ever could be.
I talked to a group the other day and when I said, “I got HIV the “old-fashioned way”. I thought I was in Love like all of you have maybe thought and then broke-up with the voice that provided the words, “But I love YOU…”.
Some took in an uneasy breath. Some stopped breathing all together. They should be nervous. Thinking I was not at risk put me most at RISK!
Getting tested is admitting you errored in reading a situation or person but that’s it.
There is no shame in testing, unless you make it up.
Knowing your status helps you make better decisions and empowers you.
And look it’s like the first time you rode a bike without the help of anyone or anything else-It’s FREEING, and you wondered why it took you so long!
Testing is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY, so DO IT TODAY!