The Good News
There are a lot of wonderful things about life in Southeastern Delaware County: community pride, racial and ethnic diversity, and longstanding faith communities, to name a few. However, like any other area, there are challenges as well. One of the biggest challenges facing Delaware County today is the rising rate of sexually transmitted disease (STD).
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH), the number of reported cases of Chlamydia and Gonorrhea have been rising steadily in Delaware County for some time. In fact, the Southeastern part of the County, a geographic area which includes Upper Darby and Chester, is considered a “hotspot” for the number of new cases reported each year. The prevalence of disease in people aged 15-25 is higher than in the general population. Sadly, many who are infected, particularly with Chlamydia, don’t realize they have the disease.
These diseases, which are entirely preventable and easily treatable, can be devastating. Chlamydia can be passed from mother to child during childbirth, and can cause severe consequences to the infected child, including pneumonia and infection of the eyes. Additionally, according to PADOH, 20% of women infected with Chlamydia, if not treated, will lose the ability to have children due to the disease’s effect on the reproductive tract. Unfortunately, there are not enough services available in our area to deal with the overwhelming scope of this public health crisis.
Ready for the good news? As part of a multi-step implementation process, beginning in September 2017 Amnion will be offering FREE testing and treatment services for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea, through a partnership with PADOH. We also plan to offer Syphilis and HIV testing at a later date. These services are paired with counseling and patient education, in order to maximize the benefit to our clients. We believe that Amnion’s unique position in the community, as a trusted provider of medical and social services, as well as our geographic location, will allow us to have a huge positive impact on the sexual health of our local neighborhood.