Cook County Health Aims to Test 5,000 Patients

Get Yourself Tested Campaign kicks off April 4, 2011

CHICAGO— In response to the staggering rate of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among youth in the Chicagoland area, the Cook County Health is kicking-off National STD Awareness Month with the return of the award-winning campaign, Get Yourself Tested (GYT) 2012. Rates in Cook County for Gonorrhea and Chlamydia have been steadily rising in the past few years, with 48,861 total cases reported in 2009. Cook County has the highest rates of Chlamydia in the state, the highest rates of Gonorrhea in the country and these are two of the top diseases that adolescents have but not aware of it.

“GYT is about creating a youthful and empowering social movement that encourages people to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases.  We know that the GYT campaign works,” said Dr. Ashlesha Patel, Director of Family Planning Services at Cook County Health.  “We are committed to increasing the number of young people who get tested again this year.  The good news is that testing for many STDs is simple, it doesn’t hurt, and we will have results very quickly.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are 19 million new cases of sexually transmitted disease, or STDs, each year, which cost the U.S. health care system $16.4 billion a year. The CDC researchers found that the gonorrhea rate among blacks is 20 times higher than among whites, and almost 10 times higher than Hispanics.

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