WCDPHE encourages regular STI testing as cases rise
Published on April 01, 2022
Weld County, Colorado — As the rate of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in Weld County continues to go up year over year — a trend also being seen across Colorado and the United States — the Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment (WCDPHE) remains committed to preventing STIs through its full-service STI Clinic. In addition to its year-round services, the clinic will be ramping up outreach efforts this month as part of STI Awareness Month.
The STI Clinic is a full-service clinic for men and women that offers exams, testing, and treatment for all STIs, including HIV. Clinic staff will be at the 9Health Fair at the University of Northern Colorado University Center, 2101 10th Avenue in Greeley, on April 16 from 7:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. providing on-site tests for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis at no charge. “This event is a great opportunity for young people to get answers to their health questions in a perhaps more comfortable setting,” said Annette Odell, WCDPHE Family Planning/STI Coordinator.
The number of reported chlamydia cases in Weld County rose from 1,330 in 2020 to 1,417 in 2021; reported gonorrhea cases rose from 409 in 2020 to 435 in 2021; and reported syphilis cases (all stages) rose from 39 in 2020 to 50 in 2021, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (see Figure 1).
Although STIs are increasing, there are many ways to protect yourself and your partner(s). Public health professionals encourage sexually active individuals to first talk openly and honestly about reducing the risk of STIs. “Talking about STIs with your partner can be difficult, but it’s key to staying healthy. These conversations could even bring you closer together,” Odell said. Get tested regularly, too, because many STIs don’t cause any symptoms, and always use a condom. The surest way to avoid STIs is to not have sex.
All STIs are treatable, and most are curable. The sooner you get tested, the sooner you can take action to protect your health and the health of your partner(s). STI tests are quick, simple, and usually painless. At the Health Department’s STI Clinic, all services are confidential, and no parental consent is required. Payment is based on a sliding fee scale, which goes down to $0 in some cases. Health First Colorado (Medicaid) also is accepted. To make an appointment, call (970) 304-6420, or for more information, go to the STI Clinic webpage.