Our normal stories are about all the good stuff in an around Muskegon, because...hey, we have an awful lot to be proud of. But, we're also not shy about talking about things which are normally "unspoken" because of taboo or the fact that it's just not comfortable. The thing for us is while it might not be the easiest thing to discuss, let's get it out there and offer you a solution and a clear path to getting it fixed as well. Today's subject "V.D." ir as it's put in today's terms "STD's" - sexually transmitted disease.
It's not the greatest to know that Muskegon consistently ranks 3rd in the state for Gonorrhea and Chlamydia. The reality is we do. What's more alarming is the age of those contracting these diseases. 15 to 24 year olds are the groups most commonly effected by these communicable diseases passed by bodily fluids, some as young as 13 as you'll hear in the interview. We're not here to shake a finger at anyone but those ages show that like anyone, curiosity kicks in and there is still a great deal of whispering going on about sexuality at those ages, so...if something happens like a communicable disease...those effected are quite often shamed or confused and afraid to ask for help from a family member so it goes untreated and can lead to a much bigger problem later in life.
There are services in place to educate and help put a stop to this. In Muskegon, The Health Project helps a coalition called UpFront. The UpFront coalition works with Public Health to educate people about the transmission and prevention of STD's. What was known way back when as the "Free Clinic" has become a little more tech savvy, a little more accessible and can even help to protect the anonymity of those who are effected or those who have come into contact. It's simply a matter of facing the facts and getting treated should a problem arise. The treatments are remarkably simple too, as you'll hear in the interview below.
Shelia Wilson and Kate Asher are with Public Health in Muskegon and we got together to talk about the statistics and the simple treatments. We're also talking a little about an event coming up at the Harbor Theater on Henry Street where they will be showing "Rent" free of charge on April 10th. The showing will be accompanied by some discussion and a chance to learn more about UpFront and how they can help if you need it. Take a listen.
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A free night and some info you can use! Take the "unspeakable" by the horns and get it taken care of. As we talked in the interview, abstinence and protection are paramount. Should you find yourself in a predicament though, don't put it off and don't spread it further. Public Health and the UpFront Coalition are here to help and all it takes is you to ask.