Responding to high levels of sexually-transmitted infections in Chicago high schools, the city Board of Education yesterday voted to increase STD testing and education for teenagers.
The project will be run in tandem with the Chicago Department of Public Health.
Cook County leads the nation in reported cases of gonorrhea, and has the third highest number of Chlamydia cases. Teenagers account for more than 60 percent of new cases in Chicago. School leaders hope more education, testing and treatment will lower those numbers.
It is unclear when the program will begin in schools, nor how many schools will be involved. The two agencies will offer prevention education, as well as urine-based testing for the two STDs. The program will be free for students and their families.
“We take sexually-transmitted infections seriously; and this emerging partnership reflects our commitment, as well as the Chicago Public Schools’ commitment, to confronting this public health challenge," says Chicago Department of Public Health spokesman Tim Hadac.
Daily News Staff Writer Alex Parker covers public health. He can be reached at 773.362.5002, ext. 17, or alex [at] chitowndailynews [dot] org.