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> Increase in STIs 2016-07-20

 N E W S   R E L E A S E 

Your Partner for a Healthy Community
Frank Kruppa — Public Health Director


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

For more information contact:
Frank Kruppa or Brenda Crosby at (607) 274-6674

Increase in Sexually Transmitted Infections

(Ithaca, N.Y., July 20, 2016) — The Tompkins County Health Department reports a local increase of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Syphilis. From January to June 2016, there have been 174 cases of Chlamydia, 22 cases of Gonorrhea and 6 cases of Syphilis. STI cases have occurred in both females and males ranging in age from 16 to 62 years. Many Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Syphilis cases have reported anonymous sexual encounters arranged through internet hook-ups and dating phone apps. As a result of the anonymous encounter, they may not be able to notify sex partners of exposure and risk further infection in the community. [Communicable Disease reports for Tompkins County]

STIs can be spread through oral, anal, and vaginal sex and can be present without symptoms. Chlamydia has been referred to as “the silent killer”, as 7 out of 10 people who have the bacterial infection do not have any symptoms. It can cause serious, permanent damage to a woman's reproductive system, making it difficult or impossible for her to get pregnant later on. Gonorrhea is a very common infection, especially among young people ages 15-24 years. Although medication will stop the infection, it will not repair any permanent damage done by the disease. Antimicrobial resistance to Gonorrhea is of increasing concern, and successful treatment of it is becoming more and more difficult. Syphilis is an STI that can cause long-term complications if not treated correctly. There are no over-the-counter drugs that will cure syphilis, but it’s easy to treat in its early stages when detected; latter stages can affect the central nervous system manifesting as cranial nerve dysfunction, meningitis, stroke, acute altered mental status, and auditory abnormalities for example.

The Tompkins County Health Department encourages sexually active individuals to talk to their partner(s) about sexually transmitted infections before having sex; get tested for STIs if engaging in sexual behaviors; and get treatment right away if they test positive for an STI. Confidential, free or low cost testing, support and further education can be found at or by calling the Tompkins County Health Department at (607) 274-6604.

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