Findings released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in late 2019 show that Gainesville, Florida has one of the highest sexually transmitted disease (STD) rates in the country. Gainesville ranked 51st based on data from the CDC’s most recent “STD Surveillance Report.” With 1,057 reported STD cases per 100,000 residents, Gainesville’s rate was the third highest among Florida cities, behind only Tallahassee and Jacksonville.
Incidents of chlamydia and gonorrhea were both high in Gainesville, with 2,191 cases and 618 cases respectively. That comes as little surprise, as infection rates for those diseases have skyrocketed in recent years. Nationwide, reported chlamydia infections have increased 19% since 2014, while reported gonorrhea infections have increased a staggering 63%.
The CDC’s numbers likely under-represent just how many people truly have STDs or STIs, as infections often go unreported to health officials. Many people with chlamydia or gonorrhea – the two most common sexually transmitted infections in the United States – display no symptoms of the infection at all. With no symptoms, infected people may be completely unaware and go on to infect others.
While symptoms of these infections may not be apparent, early diagnosis and treatment are critical for long-term health. As the CDC points out in their fact sheet, “left untreated, these STDs put men, women, and infants at risk for severe, lifelong health outcomes like chronic pain, severe reproductive health complications, and HIV.”
Once diagnosed, both chlamydia and gonorrhea can be cured with antibiotics. The first step is being tested. The CDC recommends annual testing for any, “sexually active woman younger than 25 years or an older woman with risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners, or a sex partner who has a sexually transmitted infection,” and at least that cadence for any, “sexually active man who is gay, bisexual, or who has sex with men.”
At Sira in Gainesville, we offer free STI testing for women and men alike. Tests are performed confidentially, and the results are privately disclosed to you by a Registered Nurse. Whether or not you are experiencing symptoms, give yourself peace of mind and get tested today. To schedule your free chlamydia and gonorrhea test, contact Sira at 352-37-4947.