Department of Public Health Launches #LeaveItToUs Campaign To Reduce Spread Of Sexually Transmitted Disease

WITH RATES RISING NATIONALLY AND IN CONNECTICUT, SERVICE OFFERS FREE, CONFIDENTIAL NOTIFICATION IF INTIMATE PARTNERS ARE EXPOSED TO AN STD

Hartford – The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) today is launching a new video campaign entitled #LeaveItToUs designed to help reduce the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STD) by promoting the Department’s confidential notification service for informing persons that might have been exposed to an STD.

According to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, STD rates for diseases such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are on the rise nationally and also in the state of Connecticut. A link to that data can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/std/stats17/default.htm

“We understand that having an STD can be scary,” says STD Control Program Coordinator, Dr. Lynn Sosa. “The message of the #LeaveItToUs campaign is simple: our staff is here to help make sure people are treated and assist in the process of telling their partners they should be tested too. Though it can be embarrassing to talk about, sharing information between sexual partners is critical to getting tested and treated, and ultimately reducing the spread of these diseases.”

One factor driving rising STD rates nationally is the stigma, embarrassment, and shame associated with testing for STDs and what to do when tests yield positive results. Without testing, infections go untreated, continue to spread and potentially lead to complications such as infertility. Those who test positive are often too embarrassed to contact previous partners to warn them of their exposure to STDs and encourage them to also get tested. The #LeaveItToUs campaign seeks to reduce barriers to testing by assisting the process of informing potentially infected partners in a confidential, non-judgmental manner on behalf of the primary person infected. The videos describing these services are available in English and Spanish. They will be promoted at partnering healthcare facilities and clinics.

By law, healthcare providers must notify DPH of specific STDs including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and HIV. When the STD Control Program is notified of an STD, specially trained staff called Disease Intervention Specialists reach out confidentially to the infected person and talk to them about their potential partners who have been exposed and maybe infected. Staff then reach out to those partners on behalf of the patient, maintaining confidentiality while answering questions, promoting testing and treatment. Staff will also provide resources including: testing locations, STD prevention resources, and education in an effort to prevent future exposure and infections.

Providing partner services is the most effective statewide program to identify infected persons and link them directly to care for their STD. The Connecticut DPH encourages all sexually active people to get tested regularly and to be knowledgeable about their sexual health which includes risk factors for infections with STDs.

For more information, visit the Connecticut DPH STD Control Program:

https://portal.ct.gov/DPH/Infectious-Diseases/STD/Sexually-Transmitted-Diseases-Control-Program

###

For More Information:

Av Harris av.harris@ct.gov

(860) 509-7270