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School district and Keystone Health working on STD prevention

Written by Sarah Davis, Public Opinion Online | Apr 28, 2015 3:00 PM
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(Chambersburg) -- Last Spring Keystone Health and the Chambersburg Area School District worked to promote a school-based HIV/STD and pregnancy prevention program.

Joanne Cochran, Keystone CEO, said the idea of the partnership stemmed from the idea of educating people in the community about treatment and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.

"We know that when kids are teenagers they are experimenting many times," she said. "We know kids are going to experiment and during this experimenting we want to make sure that they are aware of what they are getting into and consequences of whatever behaviors they might undertake."

In addition, Cochran said she believes the number of reported STDs are actually rising in the area.

"The number of STDs seem to be climbing in our particular region of the state," she said. "So, the state is very interested in our community taking a look at incidents and prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases."

The Pennsylvania Department of Health reported more than 60 documented cases of gonorrhea in the Franklin County area in 2013. Thirty-five percent of those affected by the disease were between the ages of 15 and 19. In addition, the Department of Health also reported more than 300 people were affected by chlamydia in 2013 in the Franklin County area, with 25 percent of those affected being between the ages of 15 and 19.

CASHS Director of Support Services Tamera Stouffer said officials are using the partnership to research ways on better teaching students about maintaining good health.

"What has been done from the district standpoint has been a lot taking a look at what the health curriculum really is and focusing on healthy choices," she said. "There have been curriculum revisions that are still going n and professional development for our health teachers and our counselors."

In July, Keystone Health opened a variety of free STD clinics to offer area residents an opportunity to get tested for diseases for free while maintaining their privacy.

The STD clinics are held from 4 to 7 p.m. on the first and third Tuesday of each month at Keystone Family Medicine at 820 Fifth Ave., Chambersburg. Treatment will also be available during those clinics.


This article comes to us through a partnership between Public Opinion Online and WITF.

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