Sexually Transmitted Infections Go Up In The Pandemic


Sexually transmitted infection rates have been climbing in the epidemic period, as per a recent CDC statement. Around 2.5 million infections were recorded back in 2020, fewer than in 2019, but diagnosed sexually transmitted disease cases surged. For instance, congenital syphilis cases hit the highest figures in over two decades. There was a 7% increase in syphilis rates between 2019 and 2020, whereas gonorrhea cases increased by 10% over the same time.

People aged between 15 and 24 years contracted around 50% of the infections reported two years ago. Ethnic and racial minority groups as well as bisexual and gay people saw disproportionately higher disease rates. With that in mind, let us discuss how to keep STIs at bay.

How Frequently Should You Undergo STD Testing?

As per a CDC recommendation, a person aged between 13 and 64 years should get tested one or more times for HIV. You can do it at a free STD and HIV testing clinic or a similar location. The CDC also suggests that men having intercourse with other men undergo testing for HIV once per year at the least.

It urges every sexually active woman aged under 25 years or having new/multiple partners, to undergo annual testing for gonorrhea and chlamydia. Sexually active bisexual and gay people should also subject themselves to tests for chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis once per year at the least. As per CDC guidelines, pregnant women should also undergo tests for hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV, and syphilis.

Some experts suggest more frequent tests. The National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD) recommends getting tested once per quarter for people with more than one sex partner.

Are you seeking a clinic that offers low-cost or free HIV and STD testing services? If so, you can find it with the help of a CDC website made for this purpose.

Some states also offer in-home testing services with health department staffers, but be cautious of any private home screening option. As per some studies, laboratories offering in-home tests are not credible.

A family planning clinic will also have tele-health and in-person options for STD testing. There are also some centers offering urgent care along with testing capabilities.

Sexual health specialists suggest that individuals get themselves tested before their intercourse with new partners, when possible, besides undergoing routine screenings for STIs. When that is impossible, people should think about getting tested immediately after having intercourse with new partners.

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    About the Author

    Dr. Ghassan M. Al-Jazayrly, MD

    A graduate of University of Aleppo Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Al-Jazayrly or, as he is colloquially known: Dr. AJ, is an oncologist and hematologist of a Complete Care Community Health Center (CCCHC) with more than 36 years of experience. In recent years, he’s been involved with a non profit organization known as Every Woman Counts (EWC) which provides free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to California’s underserved populations in order to eliminate health disparities for low-income individuals.

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