Surprising statistic for Adams County STD rates

Beverly Simmons explains the treatment for Chlamydia.

A statistic in Adams County puts it above many other counties in Illinois, but it's not one you'll want to hear.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Heath, Adams County ranked 20th in cases per capita of Chlamydia in 2012.

Adams County is known for a lot of things, but a high rate of STDs is something health officials don't enjoy hearing about.

From the beginning of this year through September, Adams County saw 181 cases of Chlamydia.

Joanna Bunch, a Public Health Nurse with Adams County Health Department has seen first hand how that number has grown.

"I've just seen a continuous climb. I've been here doing this position for eight years, and I've seen a continuous climb in the cases of gonorrhea and Chlamydia in Adams County for the past eight years. Each year it continues to grow," said Bunch.

Chlamydia is the most frequently reported STD in the US according to the Center for Disease Control.

Beverly Simmons, Executive Director with Quincy Family Planning hopes people realize the effects not treating an STD can have on a person and their partners.

"With Chlamydia, we want to make sure all the partners are treated. And so I think that's going to be the key here in Adams County to get our rates down. When people think about STDs, they have to think about where that came from. It's a sexually transmitted disease, and if you're in a monogamous relationship, and a truly monogamous relationship, there shouldn't be any chances of an STD, especially if those partners have been tested prior to becoming sexually active. That's the key. The key is education and testing and treatment with all the partners," said Simmons.

The STD clinic at Family Planning will treat any infected person, and follow-up to make sure they are feeling healthy.

Bunch hopes that this statistic gives people a wake-up call to what is happening in the county.

"A lot of STDs don't get a lot of publicity, but it is prevalent. It's costs billions of dollars in the United States every year just to treat Chlamydia and gonorrhea infections, which are preventable. And the prevention portion of it is to use protection when you're having sex, or to abstain and not have sex with other people," Bunch said.

Simmons hopes people don't take any chances.

"It's just always best to weigh on side of getting tested. So don't be afraid, you're not judged, we just want to take care of you," Simmons said.

To find more information on the resources offered by the two organizations, click here for the Health Department and click here for Family Planning.