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Gonorrhea rates in TCHD’s jurisdiction of Adams, Arapahoe, and Douglas Counties have increased 205%, 206%, and 188% respectively from 2013 to (preliminary) 2017. Gonorrhea infection is more commonly seen in men, white or Hispanic people, and in people 15-24 years of age. Statewide, gonorrhea rates have increased nearly 200% over the same time period.
Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection spread through sexual contact including anal or oral sex. Infection can occur in the genitals, rectum, and throat. Gonorrhea can cause serious complications such as pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility in women and can increase the risk of acquiring HIV infection. Gonorrhea remains the second most commonly reported sexually transmitted infection in Colorado.
“For your health and the health of your partner, get tested,” said John M. Douglas, Jr., MD, Executive Director of Tri-County Health Department. “Testing is confidential and can prevent serious health problems as well as give you peace of mind.”
Any sexually active person can be infected with gonorrhea or other sexually transmitted infections (STI) such as chlamydia, syphilis, or herpes. Anyone with genital symptoms such as discharge, burning during urination, unusual sores, or rash should stop having sex and see a health care provider immediately. Also, anyone with a sex partner who has been recently diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection should see a health care provider for evaluation.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends testing for both gonorrhea and chlamydia every year for all sexually active women younger than 25 years, as well as older women with risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners, or a sex partner who has a sexually transmitted infection. Men who are sexually active with other men should also be screened for gonorrhea and other STI at least once a year. People who have gonorrhea should be tested for other STI as well.
Condoms are highly effective in preventing the spread of gonorrhea and should be used by anyone at risk of exposure to an STI. In addition, abstinence or limiting the number of sexual partners is effective in preventing the spread of gonorrhea and other sexually transmitted infections.
To get tested for gonorrhea or other STIs, talk to your health care provider or visit www.tchd.org/GetTested. Outside of Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas counties, go here for testing locations.
Tri-County Health Department serves over 1.5 million people in Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas Counties. It provides over 60 programs and services including birth certificates, immunizations, food/WIC, restaurant inspections, family planning, STI/HIV Testing and infectious disease investigations. For more information, please visit our website at www.tchd.org or follow us on Twitter @TCHDHealth or Facebook @cotchd