RIVERSIDE COUNTY, Calif. – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released its Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance Report for 2018. According to the study, combined cases of syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia reached an all-time high in The United States last year.
From 2017-2018, the amount of syphilis cases increased by 14 percent with over 115,000 cases nationwide. Gonorrhea increased by about 5 percent, and Chlamydia increased 3 percent.
The trend is also being seen on a local level. CJ Tobe, Interim Director of the Community Health Department at Desert Aids Project, says Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Syphilis have become more prevalent cases.
“We’re now seeing roughly 30 to 40 patients a day through The Dock for either Prep, Pep, STI testing, and treatment,” Tobe said.
Tobe says The Desert Aids Project sex clinic, known as The Dock, has seen a 35 percent increase in patients over the last year.
Riverside County is also on trend. Lea Morgan is the HIV and STD Branch Chief for The Riverside County Department of Public Health. She says the area also saw increases in the region, along with more recent changes.
“It used to be in the desert area we would see more syphilis cases, but now we’re starting to see them throughout the county.” Morgan said.
Each infection can follow with a series of side effects. All are transferrable through sexual intercourse. Health officials say they are preventable and curable.
“Whether that’s using condoms, talking to your partner, just advocating for your own sexual health is the biggest way that we can see these numbers go down,” Morgan said.
Morgan advises getting checked at least once a year, and every time a new partner is introduced while also practicing unprotected intercourse.
Resources are available in the valley.
“Anybody can walk in or schedule an appointment. There’s no insurance required. There’s going to be 25 dollars for everybody who shows up regardless of age, race, ethnicity or insurance coverage,” CG Tobe said.
For more information, we have provided a link to Desert AIDS Project below.