Three common Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)—chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis—are surging across the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Young people are especially hard-hit. In fact, because reported cases only account for a fraction of the national burden, CDC estimates 15-24-year olds account for half of all new sexually transmitted infections each year.
Sacramento County is no exception. In 2018 alone, there were 11,645 reported cases of chlamydia, 3,838 reported cases of gonorrhea, and 929 reported cases of syphilis*.
April is STD Awareness Month and Sacramento County Sexual Health Promotion Unit would like to remind everyone, especially young people to get tested for STDs. Testing is quick, simple and available throughout Sacramento County with no out-of-pocket costs.
Services Provided By Sacramento County HIV/STD Prevention Program
- HIV antibody testing
- Chlamydia and gonorrhea screening
- Hepatitis C prevention and screening
- Outreach activities
- Technical assistance and Training/Professional Development
- Community involvement through the HIV Health Services Planning Council and the Sacramento Workgroup to Improve Sexual Health (SacWISH)
- County-wide HIV prevention activities
- Social marketing campaigns
- STD prevention and information
- Education and Materials for youth
The consequences of STDs are especially severe for young people. Because chlamydia and gonorrhea often have no symptoms, many infections go undiagnosed and this can lead to lifelong repercussions for a woman’s reproductive health, including pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility. Untreated STDs can also increase a person’s risk of getting HIV or passing it to a partner if they’re living with HIV.
Early detection through testing is key to avoiding these consequences, yet research has shown many adolescents don’t talk with their providers about sexual health issues at all during annual health visits.
Those who are not comfortable talking with their regular healthcare provider about STDs can access Sacramento County’s online testing locator to find a convenient testing site that is free or low cost.
Getting tested for STDs is one of the most important things a person can do to protect their health, but it’s not the only thing. There are several ways to prevent STDs. Those who test positive for an STD should get treated right away – and be sure their partner is also treated to lower the risk of getting infected again.
California State law requires many communicable diseases to be reported to the local health department. Among them are the following STDs:
- Syphilis (infections, latent (early & late), late stages & congenital)
- Viral Hepatitis (A,B and C)
Reporting STDs is highly confidential and assistance is available for notifying partners to refer them for evaluation and treatment.
Visit the Sacramento County Sexual Health Promotion Unit webpage for more information on STD prevention.
*includes Early Syphilis, Unknown & Latent Syphilis, and Congenital Syphilis cases.