FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 17, 2023
Cook County Urges Testing for Two Most Common STDs
Don’t Guess, Get a Test campaign links residents to home and in-person testing
FOREST PARK, Ill – Today, Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) launched its Don’t Guess, Get a Test awareness campaign to encourage residents – especially ages 18-24 – to get tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea, the two most common STDs.
“Many people don’t realize just how common chlamydia and gonorrhea are, AND that they can be infected with and spread these STDs to partners without even knowing it,” said CCDPH Chief Operating Officer, Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck. “Often times, people have no symptoms. And what’s worse is, if left untreated, these infections can cause serious health problems – including infertility – in men and women, and increase your risk for other STDs.”
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are 26 million new STD cases in the U.S. per year. One in 5 Americans are estimated to have an STD. In the past 10 years, chlamydia cases have increased nationally by 16% and gonorrhea cases have almost doubled. Half of all new infections in suburban Cook County are in people ages 18 to 24 years old.
April is STD Awareness month. CCDPH has created animated ads aimed at quickly capturing the attention of young adults in places they commonly get information – on YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok, as well as dating apps like Tinder and Grindr. One ad prompts people to think about whether they could have gotten or given an STD over spring break, saying, “What happens in Miami stays in Miami” and then is quickly crossed out and replaced with, “Unless it’s an STD. Then it comes home with you. Know their status. Know your status.”
CCDPH has made it easy for residents to order a home test kit or find an in-person testing site near them.
- Free chlamydia and gonorrhea home test kits are available to suburban Cook County residents ages 18 and older by visiting dontguessgetatest.com/mailorder or Prairie State College, 202 S. Halsted St. (Meeting Room 1315) in Chicago Heights, open Tuesdays from 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., from now through November 2023.
- In-person testing sites are listed at: https://bit.ly/3A6qhEm or by entering your Zip code in the CDC STD Testing Site locator.
Media Contact: Shelia Pegues-Porter [email protected]