HIV Cases Stabilize, Gonorrhea and Syphilis on the Rise in Santa Clara County

Some sexually transmitted infections are on the upswing in Santa Clara County, according to the county.

While the rates of new HIV cases have leveled out across the South Bay county, rates of gonorrhea and syphilis have nearly quadrupled since 2010, according to the county.

County data revealed that gonorrhea and syphilis are more common among males. Chlamydia, on the other hand, is more common among females.

All three diseases were found to disproportionately affect people of color and LGBTQ populations, according to the county. Chlamydia and gonorrhea were found to particularly impact people between the ages of 15 and 25.

The county cited app-based and online dating, a decrease in access to STD clinics, substance abuse, and "survival sex" — exchanging sex for shelter, food and drugs — for triggering the spread of certain infections.

While people with sexually transmitted infections may not experience symptoms, they can still pass them along to sexual partners, resulting in complications such as infertility, chronic pain, blindness, deafness and death.

The Santa Clara County Public Health Department indicated that is working with jails and emergency rooms to improve testing at those locations. The department is also working with primary physicians to make sure they're screening for STIs.

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