National Public Health Week April 7 – April 11

Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) officials use National Public Health Week (NPHW) to launch a new infographic designed to inform the public about the sexual behaviors of suburban Cook County teens and the number of sexually transmitted diseases reported each year.

Today’s NPHW theme, Be Healthy From the Start, is a reminder that good public health practice begins at home.

“Not all students are fortunate enough to receive comprehensive sex education at school and even those who do still need that one on one conversation with a parent or a caregiver about sex and STD prevention,” said Dr. Terry Mason, CCDPH COO. “It’s a fact, teens are having sex. And of the more than 10,000 cases of STDs reported each year in suburban Cook County, 70 percent are between the ages of 15-24 so believe me your child is at risk. Use the information on our STD page and infographic at www.cookcountypublichealth.org to start the conversation, today.”

STDs can be prevented. Some STDs have are vaccine preventable, some can be treated and some cured with medication. However, some STDs have life-threatening results and can lead to additional diseases such as cancer or HIV. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people who have STDs such as gonorrhea, herpes and syphilis are more likely to contract HIV compared to people who are STD-free.

Staying informed and taking precautions will go a long way in staying STD free. As a parent or caregiver, it is important to understand how teens think about sexual activity and the types of sex teens are having. It is equally important to know about the different types of STDs, their risks, treatment needed and the way the infections are transmitted.

For information about STDs and to view the infographic, visit: www.cookcountypublichealth.org.

For more information about National Public Health Week, visit: www.nphw.org.