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STD versus STI
Diseases that are spread through sexual contact are usually referred to as “sexually transmitted diseases” - STDs for short. In recent years, however, many experts in this area of public health have suggested replacing STD with a new term - sexually transmitted infection, or STI.

WHY? The concept of “disease,” as in STD, implies a clear medical problem, usually some obvious signs or symptoms. But in truth several of the most common STIs have no signs or symptoms in the majority of persons infected. Or they have mild signs and symptoms that can be easily overlooked. So the sexually transmitted virus or bacteria can be described as creating “infection,” which may or may not result in “disease.” This is true of chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, and human papillomavirus (HPV), to name a few.

Ready to Go: The History and Contributions of U.S. Public Health Advisors

now available from ASHA
The American Social Health Association is pleased to announce the publication of Ready to Go: The History and Contributions of U.S. Public Health Advisors. The book chronicles sixty years of service by an often-overlooked group of public health employees.

The first Public Health Advisors, or PHAs, were recruited in 1948 with the primary mission of supporting sexually transmitted disease control efforts, but the scope of their work has expanded significantly. Whether dealing with cholera, Legionnaires disease, smallpox, AIDS, or the aftermath of natural disasters and bioterrorist threats, PHAs are found working in urban and rural settings throughout the U.S. and on every continent.

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CDC Increases U.S. HIV Incidence Figures
New CDC data indicates approximately 16,000 more new cases of HIV occur in the U.S. each year than previously estimated. CDC says the updated estimates are due to a more sophisticated surveillance system and the figures don't mean HIV infections are increasing.


teen pregnancy in the spotlight
Recent media attention about a spike in pregnancies among students at a Masachusetts high school has brought the issue of teen pregnancy into a national spotlight.