The First Service Alcohol and Drug Education Program will offer the program “Putting You First in Times of Need,” a seminar about sexually transmitted diseases. The hour-long seminar “Sexually Transmitted Diseases — The Silent Epidemic” begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 27, at Cypress District Center, 400 Como St. A $5 per person fee will be charged.
The program from “The Doctor Is In,” an award-winning television series produced by Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and New Hamphshire Public Television, is designed to provide specific prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the most common sexually transmitted diseases, often overlooked due to intense education efforts given to HIV. While HIV and AIDS are classified as sexually transmitted diseases, they will not be the focus of the program.
“The U.S. still has the highest rates of STDs in the industrialized world, with rates that are 50-100 times higher than other industrialized nations,” according to a press release from Dr. M. LaVelle Hendricks, pastor of East Caney Baptist Church, who is also a Texas licensed chemical dependency counselor, certified anger resolution therapist and Texas certified tobacco instructor.
According to Hendricks, there are an estimated 12 million new cases of STDs in the United States each year. Of these, 3 million occur among teen-agers 13 to 19 years old. A recent Centers for Disease Control report documented that over 85 percent of the most common infectious diseases in the United States are sexually transmitted.
“Most Americans are aware of HIV infection and AIDS, the most deadly of all STDs,” Hendricks stated in the release. “But for much of society, the other serious risks related to unsafe sexual behaviors may have been forgotten. There are over 20 diseases that are transmitted sexually. Many have serious and costly consequences.”
The Feb. 27 seminar is designed to spotlight some of those STDs, “which may not have been as blanketed in awareness efforts and mass coverage as HIV.”
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