Chicagoans are twice as likely to have chlamydia and nearly three times more likely to have gonorrhea than residents of other areas in the U.S., according to data from the Chicago Department of Public Health. Young women make up for nearly half of the individuals diagnosed for chlamydia infections. In addition, gonorrhea rates rose among both men and women beginning in 2016. The largest increase at 22% was among men. A goal of Heartland Health Centers and myself is to increase the awareness of sexual health education to high school students, a population most affected by sexually transmitted diseases. Heartland Health Centers School Based Clinic offers free STI testing. By tabling during lunches, I am able to inform the students first hand about these services, and provide them with healthy and safe sex options. Moreover, we are relaying the message that STI testing should be a part of one’s standard medical care. Talking openly and honestly with the teens about their risk for STI’s and where Chicago stands with these rates are extremely important. Tabling is my chance to make those connections with the students of Senn High School.
This blog post was written by 2018-19 NHC Chicago member Moranda Tate.
Moranda is a Health Educator at Heartland Health Centers.