Bay Area Health Officials Urge Precautions in Light of Sexually Transmitted Disease Increase

February 14, 2018 10:55 am · 18 comments

This Valentine’s Day, Bay Area health officials remind everyone who is sexually active to have a conversation with their primary care provider and to be screened regularly for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Across the country and in California, syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia have been increasing for the past five years. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), California has the highest number of STD cases among all states. Cases of syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia have increased in Contra Costa since 2012, and there are around 100 new HIV cases in the county every year.

Having an untreated STD can increase your risk of HIV infection, fertility problems, long-term pelvic or abdominal pain and complications in pregnancy. It is common to have an STD without experiencing any symptoms, which is why getting tested is an important way to protect yourself and prevent passing along an infection.

“Knowing your HIV and STD status helps you make important decisions about your sexual health,” said Dr. Tom Warne, deputy health officer for Contra Costa Health Services. “We now have safer and more effective ways to prevent and treat HIV.  For people who are HIV negative, using condoms and the HIV-prevention medicines used for PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) can keep them and their partner(s) safe from getting the virus through sex.”

Contra Costa residents should talk to their health care provider to find out if PrEP is right for them or contact a PrEP Navigator at 925-313-6771.

STDs are preventable and treatable. The following steps can help everyone reduce their risk:

  • Ensure correct and effective condom use for all sexual activity
  • Get tested regularly
  • Get vaccinated to prevent Hepatitis A and B, and Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Have fewer partners, and have open and honest conversations with them about STDs and HIV
  • Ask your healthcare provider if PrEP is right for you

If you are sexually active, talk to your provider about being screened for STDs. Most STDs can be treated quickly and effectively by your provider. To find free or affordable confidential testing sites near you, visit

To learn about free or low-cost STD and HIV screening options in Contra Costa County, call 1-800-479-9664. You can also find information about STD prevention and treatment at

For more information about STDs in California, visit

Really... February 14, 2018 at 11:00 AM

Free healthcare keeping us all much safer…

Cellophane February 14, 2018 at 11:23 AM

There is nothing free in this world.

People should be responsible.

Many are not.

Really... February 15, 2018 at 8:10 AM

Irresponsible people…and that is why California provides free healthcare to so many (yes, paid by us working taxpayers). They have “free” birth control, nothing else needed. We are all so much better off (sarcasm). Smaller paychecks to pay for it and more diseases than ever to worry about.

Pyrrhus February 15, 2018 at 9:07 AM

Imagine how much worse it would be if there was no “Free” Birth Control. The fact of the matter is people are going to have sex no matter how much you preach abstinence. STDs would be even higher and unwanted pregnancies would be so much higher.

Also, there is a misnomer that Millennials are sexual deviants. A study came out recently that showed Millenaials are having less sex than any generation in the past 60 years.

WC February 14, 2018 at 11:10 AM

Watch out for the cougars!

Reality says... February 14, 2018 at 11:32 AM

Look at the data (link is broken, do cut/paste).

It’s clear there are certain groups (race) who should have targeted education to reduce those numbers. What’s not included in the data is of those surveyed, how many were heterosexual vs. homosexual vs. drug users, etc. That’s an important data point that effects the results and should influence the education you give to the target audience. Saying it has been increasing the past 5 years is too generic a statement IMO.

Baloo February 14, 2018 at 4:20 PM

Are you referring to the white millennials using apps like Tinder to hook up for the night?

NuMerica February 14, 2018 at 12:12 PM

That’s funny… because recently a bill was passed lowering the criminal offense for knowingly infecting people… THIS IS THE RESULT!

Always Right February 15, 2018 at 7:09 AM

True. The democrats in the California legislature recently reduced penalties for knowingly infecting someone with AIDS. Exactly the opposite of what should have been done.

The Mamba February 14, 2018 at 12:56 PM

Boy, this definitely set the scene. Light the candles, baybay!

Dawg February 14, 2018 at 1:03 PM

It’s not only STD’s but measles, scabies, tuberculosis and a host of other infectious diseases are being brought into the United States by refugees, legal and illegal immigrants.
Germany has seen a 40% increase in infectious diseases since 2015 when Angela Merkel began allowing more than 2 million migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East flood into her country.
Some of the diseases include, chicken pox, cholera, leprosy, malaria, hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, rubella, syphilis, typhus, whooping cough, and many fungal and parasitic infections.

Jerk February 14, 2018 at 7:11 PM

…and epstein barr. Look at things people come down with that Doctors think might be related to ebv.

Suzanne February 14, 2018 at 2:42 PM

Gee wiz! Happy Valentine’s Day!

Simonpure February 14, 2018 at 3:58 PM

Yes…happy VD

idiots everywhere February 14, 2018 at 2:48 PM

Additional suggestions (please feel free to add)
-Stay off Tinder.

Jerk February 14, 2018 at 7:22 PM

Better hurry up and get your HPV / Gardasil shot before it gets pulled.
1,000s of lives damaged from that shot.
Even the CDC says: “Most HPV infections (9 out of 10) go away by themselves within two years.”

PS: The Director of the CDC just RESIGNED last month for holding shares in Merck and Tobacco. I’m sure that we won’t be reading about that on the Water Cooler though.

Darwin February 14, 2018 at 8:07 PM

Wrap it boys! Respect for yourself and the ladies 😘

NunYa February 14, 2018 at 8:13 PM

LOL, facts must scare you

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