Erie County Health Department Reports Increase in Sexually Transmitted Infections
BUFFALO, NY (WKBW – The Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) announced that it has seen an increase in sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the county and reminds residents that STIs are treatable.
ECDOH said gonorrhea cases increased 56% from 2019 to 2020, although reported chlamydia cases fell 9% from 2019 to 2020. According to ECDOH, chlamydia has fewer symptoms than gonorrhea, which may represent fewer people tested. With 24% of all chlamydia cases and 32% of all gonorrhea cases, ZIP Codes 14215 and 14211 had the highest total number of gonorrhea and chlamydia cases reported in 2021.
According to the ECDOH, confirmed cases of syphilis (all stages) doubled in Erie County from 2020 to 2021. Cases were primarily male (78%), ages 20-39 (67%), and resided in the city of Buffalo (78%). %).
In response, ECDOH is providing information on STI testing and treatment and expanding its Every Partner Treated (EPT) programme. ECDOH said the EPT program provides prescription treatment to partners of people who have been diagnosed with an STI without having to be seen by a medical professional.
“Sexual health is an important part of overall health, and our department’s sexual health clinic is here to support that aspect of personal health. Often the sexual partners of people infected with STIs are also infected and do not know it because they have no symptoms. Treating the partners of people infected with STIs will improve the health of the partners and prevent re-infection of the person who has just been treated. To expand access to this treatment, we have created a new phone line – (716) 858-4EPT. This number and the associated website (www.erie.gov/EPT) are specifically for people who have been exposed to an STI. After being screened by one of our public health nurses, they can receive prompt, free treatment, either by mail or by pick-up at our clinic at 608 William Street. Treatment for all partners is an important way to reduce the risk of reinfection.”
– Health Commissioner Dr Gale Burstein
The ECDOH said the Erie County Sexual Health Clinic at 608 William Street offers testing, treatment and education. The clinic is open on weekdays and is accessible to anyone aged 12 and over. STI testing is confidential and no one is denied testing or treatment because of their ability to pay. Call (716) 858-7687 for more information or call (716) 858-4EPT to access the EPT.