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National Public Health Week and STD Awareness Month

By Kevin Watler, Public Information Officer

April 01, 2019

This week, April 1 – 7, the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County is acknowledging National Public Health Week (NPHW). NPHW presents an opportunity for communities across the United States to reflect on the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving our health.

Public health professionals across Hillsborough County make it their life’s work to help keep people and communities healthy; from better maternal and child health to improvements in disease control and prevention to addressing environmental concerns and emergency preparedness.

Also, this month is STD Awareness Month. There were more than 20 million new STD infections in the U.S. in 2017; “the highest in 20 years,” explained Carlos Mercado, Disease Control Division Director. “The last official STD numbers were released for 2017 and more than 11,000 cases were reported in Hillsborough. The county also reported more than 300 new HIV infections.”

While STD numbers are reported to the health department, there are many other public health concerns that public feedback is important to acquire to better serve residents. “We want to be sure that the voice of our public is always represented during planning,” Senior Human Services Program Specialist Ayesha Johnson, PhD, added.


To better understand and address the health needs of people in the community, a community health needs assessment (CHNA) has been launched and is available until May 1. The survey can be found online by visiting bit.ly/healthsurvey2019.