Santa Rosa, CA – February 13, 2018 – This Valentine’s Day, Bay Area health officials
remind everyone who is sexually active to have a conversation with your primary
care provider and to be screened regularly for sexually transmitted diseases
country and in California, syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia have been
increasing for the past five years. According to the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC), California has the highest number of cases among
all states. Sonoma County follows similar statewide and national trends, where
syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia have increased since 2010. During this time
period, the number of chlamydia cases has increased by a factor of 2, the
number of gonorrhea by a factor of 6 and early syphilis by a factor of 8.
untreated STD can increase your risk of HIV infection, infertility problems,
long-term pelvic/abdominal pain, and complications in pregnancy. In addition,
you risk passing the infection on to others. That is why getting tested is so
important. Also, the rise in early syphilis cases, particularly among women, specifically
increases the potential for congenital syphilis which can cause devastating
outcomes for newborns including stillbirth or infant death.
“Partners need to
speak with each other about their status, and what better time than now to have
the conversation, get tested, and take precautions,” stated Dr. Karen Milman,
Sonoma County Health Officer. “Knowing your status allows you and your partner
to look after your health. If you do have an STD, you can take action to reduce
the risk of passing it on to others and help prevent long-term health problems by
preventable and treatable. The following steps can help everyone reduce risk:
- Ensure correct and effective condom use for all
- Get tested regularly
- Get vaccinated as a safe and effective way to
prevent Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
- Have fewer partners and open and honest
conversations with them
It can be common
to have an STD without experiencing any symptoms.
If you are sexually
active, talk to your provider about being screened for STDs. Most STDs can be
treated quickly and effectively by your provider. To find free or affordable
confidential testing sites near you, visit gettested.cdc.gov.
information about STDs in California, visit https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/STD.aspx.