A city in New Hampshire offers free tests for sexually transmitted diseases This Thursday, he encourages his residents not to "give your Valentine nothing but love" at this cherished theme party. This is the second time that the Nashua Division of Public Health and Community Services is hosting the Valentine's Day event, which includes same day screening for STDs, Hepatitis C and HIV.
"Preparing the ground for a romantic Valentine's Day requires more than flowers or chocolates – a sexually healthy love celebration requires education, testing and communication," an event publication on the Nashua government website reads. "Maybe the best gift for this February 14th is to test for STDs, HIV and hepatitis C."
The organizers hope that the Valentine's Day theme will help reduce the stigma surrounding STDs and encourage dialogue among participants. There will also be gifts, including gift cards for early attendees and snacks.
"We are going to have our clinic decorated so that people feel welcome," said Program Assistant Jessica Ayala at the Nashua Telegraph. "It's really fair so people feel comfortable and open to talk about prevention and get away from it."
In August, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that STDs were on the rise in the United States with 2.3 million reported cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis diagnosed in 2017. This number exceeded the record set in 2016 with more than 200,000 cases.
"We are in the process of reversing," said Johnathan Mermin, director of the CDC's National Center for HIV / AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STDs and Tuberculosis. "It is obvious that the systems that identify, treat and eventually prevent STDs are almost exhausted."
The data showed a 67% increase in the number of gonorrhea diagnoses, which worried officials because of the growing threat of untreatable strains. While primary and secondary syphilis diagnoses increased by 76%, chlamydia remains the most commonly reported CDC disease, with nearly half of all new cases occurring in women aged 15 to 24 years.
Thursday's event will be held at the Community Health Clinic between 10 am and 7 pm, which is extended.