STD cases are on the rise, local doctor has tips to keep you protected

BERLIN, Md. — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a study that showed STDs continued to increase during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The study showed everything picked up at the end of 2020. 47ABC spoke with the physician, Dr. Gill at Atlantic General Hospital to look at cases here locally. She tells us that the rise in cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis stem from primary care clinics and health department closures due to the 2020 pandemic. Dr. Gill says that they have also seen an increase in congenital syphilis, which are babies born with syphilis as well. There are some ways that she recommends you keep yourself protected.

“It’s really about coming for screening the recommendations are for women under age 26, people under 26 should be getting annually screened for gonorrhea and chlamydia. Also, people should be getting blood tested for HIV annually and when you do that you can add on the test for syphilis,” says Dr. Gill.

She says syphilis can be a little harder to diagnose because it is a blood test but get tested anyway because you can be asymptomatic. Dr. Gill advises that gonorrhea and chlamydia testing can be done through your urine. Dr. Gill also says the case rate is also affected by the ease of testing and actually getting people to come in to be serviced. She also mentioned resources including letting health officials know anonymously that you have been infected on their website. This is good for you and your partner, so all infected parties will be aware. But she says to be careful if a past partner notifies you due to vengeful relationships.

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