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Ages 15-29 most at risk for sexually transmitted infections

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“STIs can be treated. Self-care is health care.”

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — An advisory issued last week by the Health Department revealed the rise in cases of “sexually transmitted infections” in the territory for a certain age group, who are urged to get tested.

According to the advisory, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) — like gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis “are on the rise in American Samoa.”

“Three out of four with STIs are between the ages of 15 and 29,” the advisory declared. “STIs can be treated. Self-care is health care.”

DoH of offers free screening and treatment. Schedule an appointment with the STD program. 699-0649. “Get tested today,” said DoH.

Meanwhile, the Governor’s State of the Territory Comprehensive Report, distributed to lawmakers last month, notes that the HIV/ Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) program has accomplished its goals of retaining and keeping those living with HIV in care and medications have continued to be well stocked.

It points out that American Samoa has not diagnosed an HIV case since 2001.

The report says that outreach and awareness campaigns continue to be managed. In addition, the availability of the HIV test at DoH clinics and the LBJ Medical Center laboratory continues to strengthen “maintaining a HIV free American Samoa.”

It also says that STD clinics continue to be open throughout the week with scheduled appointments on weekends.

Ongoing STD screening and treatment including partner tracing is a daily task for the STD program.

“A successful partner tracing protocol is in place and has improved the treatment procedure of all STD positive case(s),” the report says.

And given the shortage of physicians and nurses in American Samoa, the report says the program is improvising and utilizing the physicians and nurses with DoH “to assist with ALL HIV/STD related patient issues and challenges.”

Other major accomplishments include, the Developed Communicable Disease Clinic in Fagaima. Services provided include free screening, treatment and education for: STD (chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, viral hepatitis), HIV, Tuberculosis (TB PPD skin test) and blood pressure check (vitals).