Yes, we’re going to talk about sexually transmitted infections.
The information provided here is as local and Dallas County-centered as possible in order to avoid any doubt that these diseases are present in our communities, our schools and probably the cafés, churches and clubs where we spend time.
The data on cases of sexually transmitted infections shows fewer cases than are actually out there. Cases are often under-reported because the infected person is too embarrassed to go to a clinic.
Although some STIs must be reported to the Iowa Department of Public Health, their data only reflects the number of cases that have been diagnosed.
In 2019 (the most recent set of full-year data), Dallas County reported 290 cases of chlamydia and 73 of gonorrhea. Our population was about 93,400 at that time.
Check the U.S. Census Bureau website for local population information and the Iowa Department of Public Health Department website for more information on sexually transmitted diseases.
There are two important messages about STIs. First, sexually transmitted diseases can be treated. Untreated STIs are the reason for the continued spread of infections. Secondly, effective prevention includes protected sexual activity and honest conversations between partners.
Contact the Dallas County Public Health Department for locations of free and low-cost clinics and protective supplies at firstname.lastname@example.org or 515-993-3750.
Ann Cochran is the health navigation coordinator in the Dallas County Public Health Department.