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Sexually Transmitted Infections on the Rise

Submitted by gallagha on Wed, 06/15/2022 - 08:59

 

MAYVILLE, N.Y.:-- The Chautauqua County Health Department reports that sexually transmitted infections (STI) are on the rise; gonorrhea rates are of particular concern.

 

Gonorrhea is a common STI that can infect both males and females. It is a very common bacterial infection and it can be treated with the right medication. If left untreated, gonorrhea can cause very serious and permanent health problems. If you are pregnant and have gonorrhea, you can pass the infection to your baby during delivery. Talk to your doctor, get tested, and treat gonorrhea as soon as possible. Testing is as easy as providing a urine sample.

 

From January through April 2022, there were 96 reported cases of gonorrhea in Chautauqua County. This figure is 2.4 times greater than the 40 infections reported in 2019, and numbers grew progressively higher with each year.

 

“Because of COVID restrictions in 2020 and 2021, STI screening numbers were lower than normal,” said Director of Health and Human Services Christine Schuyler. “Despite limited access to screening and testing resources, gonorrhea numbers climbed in 2020 and 2021. Experts suspect that there were and are many more cases in the community that have gone undetected. Our department recommends that sexually active community members seek out testing and treatment for STIs.”

 

During the first four months of this year, gonorrhea was most common among people ages 20-39 (68% of all reported infections), and cases reported were 58% female and 68% male. During the same timeframe, chlamydia infections reported were most common among 15-29 year olds (74% of total infections), and were 68% female and 32% male.

 

Other sexually transmitted infections include, but are not limited to, Chlamydia, Herpes, HIV/AIDS, Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Infection, and Syphilis. STIs pass from one person to another through vaginal, oral, and anal sex.  STIs are preventable. If you have sex, know how to protect yourself and your partner(s). If you are sexually active, you can lower your chances of getting a sexually transmitted disease by maintaining a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and does not have infection. If you have multiple sexual partners, you should use a condom the correct way every time you have sex.

 

If infected, some symptoms that you might experience are pain or a burning feeling while urinating and/or discharge from your vagina or penis. STIs don’t always cause symptoms or may only cause mild symptoms. Therefore, it is possible to have an infection and not know it. That is why getting tested is important if you are having sex.  STIs are treatable.

 

If you are sexually active, get tested and treated if needed. Call your primary healthcare provider today. Ask your provider about Expedited Partner Therapy – treatment (medication or a prescription) for your sex partner(s) who are unable or unlikely to seek timely treatment.

 

If you do not have a primary healthcare provider, you can get tested at The Chautauqua Center (TCC), which has locations in Jamestown and Dunkirk, or Evergreen Health in Jamestown. Call for an appointment. You can also pick up free condoms at these locations.

 

The Chautauqua Center (TCC)

  • 107 Institute St., Jamestown; 716-484-4334
  • 75 E 3rd St., Dunkirk; 716-363-6050

Evergreen Health Services (age 18 and over)

  • 320 Prather Ave., Jamestown; 716-664-7855

 

For more information on STIs, visit the CDC website at: https://www.cdc.gov/std/general/.

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