The health unit in Sudbury says despite low rates in 2020 of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), those numbers likely will increase this year, although they won’t know until all the data is compiled.
STIs include infections like chlamydia, gonorrhea hepatitis C and syphilis.
Now that more people are getting their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, it means increased social activity — social activity which also includes romantic or intimate encounters.
Prior to the pandemic, Public Health Sudbury and Districts provided testing services for STIs, but health promoter Nicole Gauthier says those were temporarily suspended to properly respond to COVID-19. They continue to be halted.
“During this time clients were provided options to access STI testing through Réseau Access Network, as well as their health care provider as well as local walk-in clinics,” she said.
When it comes to reported cases Gauthier says there was a big dip in numbers last year, but she can’t say whether this is attributed to a decrease in testing or less sexual activity.
“We did see a substantial decrease in reported cases of sexually transmitted infections in 2020 as compared to the previous years,” she said.
The health unit doesn’t yet have rates for 2021.
Public Health Sudbury and Districts has some recommendations for those who plan to be sexually active while we’re still technically in the pandemic:
- choose well ventilated spaces when considering sex with a partner
- limit use of alcohol and substances
- wash before and after sex
- use sexual positions that limit face to face contact
- make sure partners follows COVID-19 precautions
“So having that dialogue with your partner, and making sure that they’re being honest with you if they experience any [COVID-19] symptoms,” Gauthier said, adding the recommendations are for all age groups, all populations and all demographics.
“When decisions are made about sex and sexuality that they be balanced with both personal and public health considerations.”
Up North6:12STIs and the two-dose summer