'3T's: Talk, test and treat' during STD awareness month
Sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs, are a serious health threat. In the United States, approximately 19 million new STDs are reported every year. In Florida, nearly 97,000 cases of STDs were provisionally reported for 2008, and approximately 66 percent of them were in individuals between the ages of 15 and 24.
The most commonly reported infectious diseases in the United States, STDs are spread from person to person through intimate contact. They include human papillomavirus, or HPV, herpes simplex virus, HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis and syphilis. Most STDs are easy to diagnose and treat, but often they do not have symptoms and go undetected. Fortunately, education, early detection and proper treatment can have a positive impact.
April is STD Awareness month. The 2009 campaign emphasizes the "3T's: Talk, Test and Treat," to prevent the spread of STDs.
Talk: Talk with your partner and your health care provider about risk factors, safer sex methods and testing.
Test: Make an appointment for STD testing with your health care provider or contact the Pinellas County Health Department. Screening is important, because many STDs do not have signs or symptoms.
Treat: Treat the disease to avoid more health problems. Treatment of an STD depends on the type; many are easily treated and cured. Unfortunately, not all STDs can be cured. Therefore, the best treatment is prevention by practicing safe sex. Avoiding multiple sexual partners and using condoms during sex can prevent many STDs. Other forms of birth control do not prevent STDs.
For information about STDs, testing, prevention and treatment, contact the Pinellas County Health Department at (727) 824-6911 and visit PinellasHealth.com.
One of the most common health problems for men as they age is the enlargement of the prostate. Symptoms such as increased urinary urge, often resulting in extra nighttime trips to the bathroom, might be experienced.
Dr. Paul Arnold, a urologist, will discuss advanced treatment for prostate enlargement at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Helen Ellis Memorial Hospital, 1395 S Pinellas Ave., Tarpon Springs.
At this free seminar, Arnold will cover the signs and symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH, and what medical and surgical treatments are available. Questions from the audience will be welcome.
Reservations are required. To reserve a seat, call (727) 943-3600.
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Barrington Terrace Assisted Living & Memory Care Residence will host its "Spring Health Fair and Bar-b-que" 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 14 at 333 16th Ave. SE, Largo. The event will include free screenings for vision, hearing, memory, foot care, blood pressure, oxygen levels and more, and a bloodmobile will be on site for donations. RSVP by calling (727) 588-0020.
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A Health & Wellness Fair, presented by the Tarpon Springs Chamber of Commerce, Helen Ellis Memorial Hospital and Tarpon Total Health Care, will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot at the intersection of Tarpon Avenue and Alt. U.S. 19 in Tarpon Springs.
Health screenings from the hospital will be available, as well as interactive demonstrations, fun things for kids, drawings & prizes, entertainment and food.
The Florida Blood Services bloodmobile will also be at the event.
Call Steve Boisen at (727) 934-1000.
T.O.P.S. (Take off pounds sensibly): 8-10 a.m. Wednesdays at the Largo Community Center, 65 Fourth St., Largo, (727) 538-2361. Fee.
T.O.P.S. (Take off pounds sensibly): Noon-2 p.m. Wednesdays at St. Timothy Lutheran Church, 812 Tarpon Ave., Tarpon Springs, (727) 938-0934. Fee.
Co-dependents anonymous (12-step): 7 p.m. Tuesdays at Grand Villa ALF, 750 Starkey Road, Largo, (727) 460-7824.
NAR-ANON FAMILY GROUP MEETINGS: 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Mondays (except holidays) at 517 Crystal Beach Ave., Crystal Beach; 7 p.m. Tuesdays at First United Methodist Church, Friendship Hall, Room F108, 421 Main St., Dunedin; and 7 p.m. Wednesdays at St. Paul's Methodist Church, 1199 Highland Ave., Room 102, Largo. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
CANCER discussion GROUP (men): 4 p.m. Wednesday, Powell Cancer Center, 303 Pinellas St., Clearwater, (727) 462-7500.
Look good, feel better: 10 a.m. Monday, Mease Countryside Hospital, Meeting Room 5, 3231 McMullen Booth Road, Safety Harbor, (727) 462-7500.
Prostate cancer discussion group: 2 p.m. Wednesday, Shaffer Tower, fourth floor, Evelyn R. Simmers Oncology Resource Library, Mease Countryside Hospital, 3231 McMullen Booth Road, Safety Harbor, (727) 462-7500.
Alzheimer's caregivers' support group: 10 a.m. Monday and April 20, Ptak Orthopaedic and Neuroscience Pavilion, Room 114, 430 Morton Plant St., Clearwater, (727) 462-7500.
Breastfeeding support group: 10 a.m. Wednesday and April 22, Women's Center, fifth floor, Mease Countryside Hospital, 3231 McMullen Booth Road, Safety Harbor, (727) 462-7500.
Childbirth preparation (two week series): 7 p.m. Monday, Sarah Walker Women's Center, 300 Pinellas St., Clearwater, (727) 462-7500. Fee.
Newborn care: 7 p.m. Wednesday and April 27, Sarah Walker Women's Center, 300 Pinellas St., Clearwater, (727) 462-7500. Fee.
Better breathers support group: 1 p.m. Thursday, Hale Research Center, 207 Jeffords St., Clearwater, (727) 462-7111.
CPAP/BI-PAP clinic: 10 a.m. every Tuesday throughout April, Mease Countryside Hospital Medical Arts Building, 1840 Mease Drive, Safety Harbor, (727) 462-7500.