Washtenaw County sees spike in STDs; gonorrhea hits 25 year high

Washtenaw County is seeing a spike in sexually transmitted diseases among young people. 

April is STD Awareness Month and people are encouraged to get tested and protect themselves from infections. 

There were 560 cases of gonorrhea in Washtenaw County last year, the highest number in 25 years. 

Chlamydia and syphilis rates have also increased in recent years. There were 1,701 cases of chlamydia and 43 cases of syphilis in 2017.

According to a county health department release, these increases mirror statewide and national trends. There are about 20 million new cases of STDs each year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). About half of these infections are in people between the ages of 15 and 24.

While gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis are preventable and treatable -- they can cause serious health problems if left untreated.

Local HIV and STD testing providers include the Washtenaw County Health Department, Planned Parenthood, Unified and the Corner Health Center. Many primary health care providers and women's health care providers also offer testing and treatment.

The Washtenaw County Health Department also provides free condoms and can help with partner notification, treatment and connecting you to resources. PreP and PEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis and post-exposure prophylaxis, which are prevention options for people at high risk of getting HIV) and vaccinations for hepatitis A, hepatitis B and human papillomavirus virus (HPV) are available as well. 

For more, go to washtenaw.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=183