Published September 23, 2020 Written by Testing.com Editorial Staff
The CDC’s 2018 Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance report shows an alarming increase in cases of sexually transmitted diseases across the nation, and this increase has been extremely noticeable in California. STD cases in California reached a 20-year high in 2016, and the numbers for the three most prevalent STDs, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, have continued to climb. According to California’s 2018 STD Surveillance Report, chlamydia cases have risen every year since 2013, gonorrhea has risen every year since 2009, and the number of syphilis cases at all stages has multiplied every year since 1998.
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Rates of sexually transmitted diseases have risen across the state, with California ranking 2nd in the nation for primary and secondary syphilis. The number of STDs has also risen in Sacramento County, and the Sacramento metro’s numbers also jumped significantly, with 24,786 chlamydia cases, 4,402 gonorrhea cases, and 474 primary and secondary syphilis cases in 2018.
Sacramento County ranked 17th in the nation among counties and independent cities for reported chlamydia cases with 11,457 cases, which equates to 748.5 cases per 100,000 people, according to the CDC’s 2018 STD report. However, California’s 2018 STD report disclosed a figure of 11,645, which was nearly 20% higher than 2017, and more than 50% higher than 2014, according to the Sacramento Bee. Sacramento had the fourth-highest chlamydia infection rate among California counties in 2018.
Reported Chlamydia Cases and Rates in California Counties and Selected City Health Jurisdictions, 2014-2018
CDC documentation showed that Sacramento County had 3,806 cases of gonorrhea in 2018, while the state’s report showed 3,838 cases in the same year. According to the Sacramento Bee, doctors diagnosed 3,840 gonorrhea cases in Sacramento County residents, which was up 15% from 2017 releases, and more than 70% higher than 2014 reports. Sacramento County had the fifth-highest gonorrhea rate among counties in the state, trailing San Francisco, Los Angeles, Lake and Kern counties.
Sacramento County ranked 15th in the nation for primary and secondary syphilis infections and 10th among counties within the state. With 418 cases recorded in California’s 2018 STD report, diagnoses jumped nearly 45% from 2017 and nearly tripled since 2014. The marked increase between 2014 and 2018 was echoed in the Sacramento metro, where cases also nearly tripled during this period. Congenital syphilis has also seen a significant increase, with 10 babies born in Sacramento County with this STD in 2018, compared to just one in 2014, according to state figures.
Although health officials can’t say for certain why STDs are on the rise, some doctors partially blame the increased popularity of dating apps and services, which potentially results in more sexual partners. Decreased usage of condoms and better access to health care, resulting in more documented cases, could also be possible reasons for the increase in STDs. Left untreated, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis can cause long-term health problems, but there are cures for all three. Even if you feel fine, if you’re sexually active, it’s important to get tested regularly. It’s the only way to know for sure if you have an STD and receive the treatment you need.
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain one of the most critical public health challenges facing the United States, with approximately 26 million new STD infections occurring every year. Nearly half of these new infections affect young people ages 15 to 24.
Community-based organizations are a vital first line of defense in the fight against STDs and HIV/AIDS in particular. They generate awareness and foster social change while providing access to testing and treatment.
You may not be aware of all the STD resources available in Sacramento that can help prevent the spread of STDs. Get connected with these community organizations that are leading the fight against STDs and HIV/AIDS with resources and support:
Planned Parenthood has three Sacramento locations offering STD testing, treatment, and vaccines, including Sacramento Capitol Plaza Health Center on 10th Street, Sacramento B Street Health Center on 29th Street, and Sacramento-Fruitridge Health Center on Franklin Boulevard. Each clinic tests for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, plus bacterial vaginosis, genital warts, herpes, trichomoniasis, and HIV. Available STD prevention services include male and female condoms, dental dams, sex education, and HPV vaccines. Insurance may cover some STD testing and treatment, but even without insurance, anyone can come here for health care. Spanish translators are on-site, and interpretation of other languages is available by telephone.
One Community Health is a private, nonprofit community health center serving the greater Sacramento area. It offers free or low cost, confidential testing for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, hepatitis C, and HIV/STD testing. They also offer PrEP and PEP as well as Partner Services. Appointments for testing are available Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The center also offers a range of medical, dental, and behavioral health services for a fee, and it has a full pharmacy and laboratory on-site. It accepts Medicare, Medi-Cal, and Covered California plans, and self-pay patients are charged on a sliding scale based on income and family size.
WellSpace Health provides low-cost, confidential STD/HIV testing by appointment or walk-in at all WellSpace Health Immediate Care Centers. It also offers sexual health counseling, partner counseling and testing, and confidential partner notification training. Pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis, and hepatitis C testing and treatment are also available. Immediate Care Centers are located at Alhambra Boulevard, Marconi Avenue, and Stockton Boulevard. Immediate care hours are 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except at the Stockton Boulevard clinic, which closes at 6:00 p.m. Spanish translators are available at all three sites, with various other languages interpreted at each location.
Golden Rule Services offers free, confidential testing for chlamydia and gonorrhea via a urine-based test to community members in Sacramento County. It also performs free rapid HIV testing and rapid HCV testing. Results may be provided in person, over the phone, or via email based on the patient’s preference. Other free services include harm reduction services, partner services, HIV/STD risk reduction support groups, HIV/AIDS education and prevention intervention, latex and polyurethane condom and lubricant distribution, individual counseling, and limited transportation to medical appointments. The clinic accepts appointments and walk-ins Monday through Friday, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sac Valley Pregnancy Clinic is entirely donor-supported and operated by the nonprofit Sacramento Life Center. All services are free and confidential, including limited STD testing for chlamydia and gonorrhea, with full STD testing referrals made at low-cost clinics. Urine samples are sent to accredited laboratories for testing. It also offers STD treatment and education, free pregnancy testing, and free ultrasounds. Appointments are limited by availability, with appointments taken by phone and online requests. Clinic hours are Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Translation services are available for any language.
2316 Bell Executive Lane
Sacramento, CA 95825
Harm Reduction Services
Harm Reduction Services offer free, confidential chlamydia and gonorrhea testing, rapid HIV testing, and rapid hepatitis C testing at its office and through its mobile street outreach provided at various locations throughout the greater Sacramento area. Other services include Safepoints Syringe Exchange, overdose prevention and response training, condom and lubricant distribution, and case management. A free clinic is held most Saturdays at 3647 40th Street with treatments provided by UC Davis medical students and supervised by a medical doctor.
2800 Stockton Boulevard
Sacramento, CA 95817