Intersection of Substance Use and Sexually Transmitted Infections

George Walton is the STD Program Manager at the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH). In this role, he provides oversight for all aspects of the STD Program, including: disease surveillance and epidemiology, HIV/STD partner services and the state’s Disease Intervention Specialists (DIS), safety net STD testing services, STD 340B medications program, and policy. He has served in this role since 2012. Prior to his work at IDPH, George was a public health microbiologist at the State Hygienic Laboratory and a quality improvement manager in the Department of Pathology at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. He received a Bachelor of Science in Clinical Laboratory Sciences and a Master of Public Health, both from the University of Iowa.

This session will highlight recent statewide trends related to sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and substance use. Data show a correlation between the two, which may be contributing poorer health outcomes for affected individuals. Steps to mitigate this growing trend will also be discussed.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand STI incidence and recent trends in Iowa.
  2. Discuss interrelated risk factors for substance use and STIs.
  3. Discuss risk and harm reduction as they overlap for substance use and STIs.

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