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Chelsea, Dexter, Milan, Saline, Washtenaw County

Chlamydia and Gonorrhea Cases Down in Washtenaw County; Cases Increasing Among Teens 

 If you’re sexually active, get tested regularly for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) 

Community News

A new Chlamydia and Gonorrhea Report shows a promising decrease in overall Washtenaw County cases. Unfortunately, chlamydia and gonorrhea cases among teens 13-17 years old are increasing and racial and geographic inequities persist. The Washtenaw County Health Department encourages sexually active residents to take steps to prevent infections and get tested for STIs regularly. 

“It’s encouraging to see our local chlamydia and gonorrhea case rates decreasing over the past several years,” says Kaitlin Schwarz, MPH, Washtenaw County Health Department epidemiologist. “Washtenaw STI rates have consistently remained below state rates.” 

The decrease in local cases is a continuation of falling case rates seen over the past several years. From 2022 to 2023, chlamydia cases in Washtenaw County residents decreased 6% and gonorrhea cases decreased 17%. 

Though overall cases are trending down, there are increases among some subgroups. For local 13- to 17-year-olds, combined chlamydia and gonorrhea case rates increased 23% from 2022 to 2023. Chlamydia cases also increased among those 50 and older. 

There are also racial inequities in local cases. The most substantial increases in cases by race/ethnicity were in Hispanic or Latino residents: chlamydia diagnoses increased 12% and gonorrhea diagnoses increased 81% among this group. Gonorrhea cases declined in Black/African American residents, but chlamydia cases increased 7%. 

Additionally, case rates vary across the county. The Ypsilanti area has the highest rate of chlamydia cases. Decreases in gonorrhea rates were consistent across the county, except for the Ann Arbor area zip code 48103, where the rate of cases increased 7%. 

“Many STIs have no obvious symptoms so it’s important to get tested regularly. Treatments are available for STIs, including chlamydia and gonorrhea,” continues Schwarz. 

“This local data also is a good reminder for parents and guardians to talk to your teenagers about how to prevent STIs. Many local providers can provide low-cost, judgement-free testing and treatment.” 

Read the full report at bit.ly/wccg24. Additional local HIV and STI data can be found at washtenaw.org/1363/HIV-STI-Data. 

STI Prevention and Treatment 

While gonorrhea and chlamydia are preventable and treatable, they can cause serious health problems if left untreated. Understanding risk, reducing your number of sexual partners, and consistently and correctly using condoms are all effective prevention strategies. 

Local HIV and STI testing providers include the Washtenaw County Health Department, Planned Parenthood, Unified, and the Corner Health Center. Many primary health care providers and women’s health care providers also offer testing and treatment. 

Doxy-PEP (doxycycline) is a medication that can significantly reduce one’s chances of getting chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis after condomless sex. It should be taken within 24 hours but no later than 72 hours after condomless sex. Contact your health care provider or the Health Department to ask about doxy-PEP. 

The Health Department also provides free condoms and can help with partner notification, treatment, sexual health education, and more. PreP and PEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis and post- exposure prophylaxis, which are prevention options for people at high risk of getting HIV) and vaccinations for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and human papillomavirus virus (HPV) are available as well. Learn more at washtenaw.org/sexualhealth or call 734-544-6700. 

Washtenaw County Health Department 

The Washtenaw County Health Department promotes health and works to prevent disease and injury in our community. Our mission is to assure, in partnership with the community, the conditions necessary for people to live healthy lives through prevention and protection programs. 

Visit us at washtenaw.org/health or call 734-544-6700. The Health Department also provides frequent social media updates (@wcpublichealth) and sends regular email updates; sign up at http://bit.ly/WCHD555.