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Monday, February 14, 2011

A Valentine's Day Fact -- STDs Are on the Rise in San Francisco

Posted By on Mon, Feb 14, 2011 at 12:44 PM

click to enlarge Be my valentine
  • Be my valentine

Leave it to the San Francisco Public Health Department to use Valentine's Day as a way to get people to not want to have sex.

Health officials decided to use this hallmark holiday to tell us the hard, cold truth about our Valentines -- they aren't so pure after all. As it turns out, San Francisco's sexual behavior has caught up with itself, and STDs are on the upswing.

Overall reported cases of chlamydia increased 10 percent last year -- with a 23 percent increase in white men alone. Gonorrhea rates went up 9.8 percent, and rectal cases among men increased by 6 percent.

If that wasn't enough to turn you off of sex tonight, here is another mood killer: Syphilis has sharply increased by nearly 30 percent, after a short-lived decline in 2008.

The STD Prevention and Control Services Section is scrambling to respond to the unexpected increase. Health officials aren't sure exactly what they will do about it, but they are meeting later this week with community partners to discuss options and see if they need to target new populations.

In the meantime, health officials are reminding everyone and anyone who has sex to get screened for STDs. Men who have sex with other men should be screened for syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea every three to six months, while women who are 25-years-old or younger should be screened for chlamydia annually.

"STDs tend to rise and fall, but the rise in syphilis is fairly large and we are really trying to focus on bringing that down," said Susan Philip, director for the STD Prevention and Control Department.

So there you have it, it appears chocolate hearts won't be the only thing your date will be giving you tonight.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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