County health officials are reporting a recent spike in HIV cases after an unusual number of infections were confirmed in April. Several of the cases are believed to be related.
Additionally, there has been an increase in the number of cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis locally.
Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Donald Baird said Humboldt County typically sees one positive syphilis case a year. That has increased up to five a week.
“There is an unprecedented number of STDs in Humboldt County, reflecting a national trend,” he said. “All of these diseases are treatable, but they have to be diagnosed first and can be most contagious in the early stages.”
It’s important for people to be honest with their medical providers about their sexual history and get tested regularly. People who have multiple partners, men who have sex with men and intravenous drug users who share needles are at greater risk.
Dr. Baird said some of those at highest risk are people who have anonymous partners, a practice made easier by the prevalence of smart phone hookup apps.
To find out if you are at risk or to make an appointment to get tested for STDs, call your health care provider or the Public Health Clinic at 707-2682108.
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