Category Archives: Public Health

April 10-16 is STD Awareness Week

The week of April 10-16 presents a tremendous opportunity to raise awareness of the impact of STDs in all populations.

STD Awareness Week provides an opportunity to examine how STDs impact our lives. It also helps to reduce STD-related stigma, fear, and discrimination. Through this special week, DHEC works to ensure that people have the tools and knowledge to prevent, test for, and treat STDs.

You can find an STD testing location near you by calling DHEC’s AIDS/STD Hotline at 1-800-322-AIDS (1-800-322-2437) or visiting DHEC’s service locator at www.scdhec.gov/HIVLocator.

Targeted Approach

DHEC’s programs and community partners target their HIV and STD prevention efforts to reach persons most at risk of acquiring these infections. This includes efforts to reach youth and young adults with information and resources to avoid the infections.

In 2020, 84% of cases of chlamydia in South Carolina were diagnosed in adolescents and adults under the age of 30. Of those cases, more than one in four (28%) were diagnosed in youth ages 15 to 19.

Also, in 2020, more than two-thirds (70%) of gonorrhea cases were diagnosed in persons between the ages of 15 to 29. Of those persons diagnosed, almost one of every five cases (18%) were among youth ages 15 to 19.

DHEC’s programs also work to increase access to treatment and support services for those who are impacted by HIV and other STDs.

Visit the DHEC website for more information and resources on HIV and STDsYou can also learn more about South Carolina’s Ending the Epidemics Plan.

DHEC Works to Continue to Control and Eliminate Tuberculosis (TB)

When Dr. Robert Koch announced in 1882 his discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacteria that causes tuberculosis (TB), it marked a critical turning point in the fight against the disease. It’s a fight that DHEC’s TB Control Division and its partners continue in South Carolina today.  

In recent years, the push to control TB across the globe had been making positive strides until 2020 when there was what many hope will turn out to be simply a brief setback.  

“For the first time in over a decade, TB deaths increased in 2020. The theme of World TB Day 2022 – ‘Invest to End TB. Save Lives.’ – conveys the urgent need to invest resources to ramp up the fight against TB and achieve the commitment to end TB made by global leaders.” 

– Pan American Health Organization; World Health Organization, 2022 

March 24 is World TB Day, and DHEC’s TB Control Division will celebrate it on Friday March 25, 2022. We will join local, state, national, and global public health officials, and partners in recognizing Dr. Koch’s efforts as well as that of people across the world who have worked to control and eliminate TB. 

Click here to learn more about our work with partners to fight this illness. 

About TB 

Tuberculosis is a disease of the lungs that can be spread by coughing, sneezing, or speaking. It is treatable and preventable. We all can play an important role in eliminating tuberculosis in our community by understanding the signs and symptoms and helping to educate others.   

The signs and symptoms of TB disease in other parts of the body depend on the area affected, but the general signs and symptoms of TB disease include:  

  • feelings of sickness or weakness,  
  • weight loss,  
  • fever,  
  • night sweats, 
  • chest pain, 
  • coughing, and 
  • coughing up blood.  

Click here for a short video on one person’s story related to TB. 

DHEC Marks Poisoning Prevention Week by Offering Tips for Parents and Caregivers

National Poisoning Prevention Week is observed the third week of March every year and brings awareness to household poisonings and resources such as poison control centers and the Poison Control Help Hotline.  

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Spotlight: White Knoll High School’s Sheila Gordon Emphasizes the Importance of Athletic Trainers

March is National Athletic Training Month and Women’s History Month. In honor of these observances, DHEC would like to take the time to spotlight one of our state’s skilled athletic trainers, Sheila Gordon.

Athletic trainers, also called ATs, are not only a crucial part of coaching staff, but they are also medical professionals who have a skill set that is unmatched in prevention, management, and rehabilitation of athletic injuries.

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DHEC Celebrates International Women’s Day, March 8; Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month, and March 8 is International Women’s Day. We’d like to take this opportunity to highlight some amazing women in Team DHEC who help us achieve our vision of healthy people in healthy communities.

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