Valentine's Day is right around the corner and if you're not in a serious relationship, you might find yourself having a 'sneaky link' to celebrate. With COVID-29 and the flu dominating the news cycle, it might be easy to forget about other harmful bacterial infections still making their rounds. While we may enjoy a good sneaky link or entanglement, there can be serious repercussions. Make no mistake, Sexually Transmitted Infections are still around. Three groups, in particular, are the most affected by STIs in New York State,

The highest rates of STIs in NYS continued to be seen in young people, non-Hispanic black individuals, and men who have sex with men.

According to the most recent data released by the New York State Health Department, these three sexually transmitted diseases are the most commonly transmitted in WNY.

3. Syphilis
Early Syphilis is the third most popular STI with 134 Western New Yorkers contracting the disease. Gangster and mafia boss Al Capone died of complications of untreated Syphilis,

Due to his failing health, Capone was released from prison on November 16, 1939,[130] and referred to the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore for the treatment of paresis (caused by late-stage syphilis).

Erie County had the most reported cases with 109 people contracting Syphilis, followed by 10 in Niagara County.

Credit: Mayo Clinic via Youtube

2. Gonorrhea
Gonorrhea is the second most popular STI in WNY. There were 2,521 cases reported, the second-highest outside of NYC. Across the state,

The increase among females was higher than males (10.6% compared to 9.2%). Additionally, the rates were highest among males 20-34, and among females 15-24.

WNY was second only to The Rochester region was second with 2,652 cases. Erie County had 1,942 cases, Niagara County had 337 cases and Chautauqua County had 138 cases. Gonorrhea can be treated with antibiotics, but there is a new antimocrobial resistant Gonorrhea.

Credit: Medical Centric via Youtube

1. Chlamydia
The most commonly reported STI in WNY is Chlamydia. In 2019 there were 7,733 cases of Chlamydia around WNY. Around the state New Yorkers ages 15 to 24 had the most cases of the STI with a total of 46,877. There were 34,418 cases (27.7%) among African-Americans,

Non-Hispanic black individuals are disproportionately impacted by chlamydia, followed by American Indian/Alaska Native and Hispanic individuals.

Erie County had the most cases with 5,463 reported, followed by Niagara County with 933 and Chautauqua County with 621. Thankfully, Chlamydia can be cured with antibiotics.

Credit: UCI Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing via Youtube

If you suspect that you might have an STI, you can find a testing clinic near you here.

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