Ahhh February! Cupid’s favourite month.
Romance is a wonderful thing but if it is a new romance, no matter who you are, or how old you are, there are some facts of life that we need to be reminded of from time to time. So here goes! Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are on the rise right here in Huron County and no, it is not just a young person’s concern.
We have had 14 reported cases of chlamydia so far this year in Huron County, across various age groups. For the last few years we have also seen increased numbers of gonorrhea, again across various age groups.
It is a fact of life that in mid-life and beyond, people may be entering new relationships. When you enter the dating scene again, that includes everything that goes along with dating such as open communication with partners and protecting yourself and others from STIs.
While birth control might not be an issue for you or a new partner anymore, STIs don’t care how old you are. These bugs can happily spread through any sexual skin-to-skin contact, which includes intercourse, intimate touching or oral sexual contact with a new partner. Some STIs, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea, you can get more than once. There is no vaccine or treatment that makes you immune from ever catching them again.
There are a couple of options if you feel you should get tested. Many of you will have a family doctor or nurse practitioner that you could go to for testing. The Health Unit also offers confidential testing and treatment with no age limits or restrictions. No need to go to an emergency room!
If you have an STI and are unsure how to tell current or potential partners, we can give you advice. If you have an STI and are uncomfortable telling past partners who may have been affected, we will let them know without identifying you.
Why does the Huron County Health Unit offer all of this? It is public health’s responsibility to track reportable infectious diseases in the population, including some STIs. We are mandated to keep people healthy and safe, and that includes providing timely STI testing and treatment for all ages.
To make an appointment with a physician at one of our monthly testing clinics, call or text 519-440-1439.
In the meantime, Happy Valentine’s Day and Family Day. Remember to keep you and your loved ones safe, no matter what the activity!
Public Health Matters is a regular column by Dr. Jan Owen, Acting Medical Officer of Health for Huron County.
For more information, please contact Rita Marshall, Communications Coordinator, Huron County Health Unit, 519.482.3416 (Toll-free 1.877.837.6143) ext. 2023 or email@example.com