Why is infectious disease data important? (HIV, STDs, TB)
HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. HIV is an infectious disease that weakens a person's immune system. Some people are more likely to get HIV than others based on their behaviors and where they live. While there is no cure for HIV, it can be controlled with proper medical care. Proper HIV care is important for people living with HIV because it:
- Improves the health and well-being of the individual
- Prevents the progression of AIDS
- Reduces the amount of HIV in the blood (viral load) and prevents HIV from reproducing
- Reduces the risk of transmitting HIV to others
Roughly 20 million new STD infections are diagnosed each year in the United States, with more than 40,000 occurring in Washington State alone. State and national STD rates are at an all time high and rising. If left untreated, STDs can lead to serious long-term health consequences including chronic pain, neurological problems, increased risk of acquiring and transmitting HIV infection and severe reproductive health complications. In addition to their negative toll on overall health, they also cost the health care system a lot of money nationwide. STDs often don't present any symptoms, contributing to high transmission rates. Regular screening is important to make sure infections are promptly detected and treated.
According to the CDC, tuberculosis (TB) is caused by a bacteria and infects the lungs and at times other parts of the body like the kidney, spine and brain. If not treated it can be fatal. It is a leading cause of death worldwide.
View the Data
Sexually Transmitted Disease Data
Get Tested, national HIV, STD and Hepatitis testing - CDC
Maps and data on HIV epidemic - AIDSVu
For information or questions related to the Washington Tracking Network, email DOH.WTN@doh.wa.gov.
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