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From the Erie County Department of Health - for Sexually Transmitted Infection Awareness Week, let’s talk about sex

All STIs are treatable, and some can be cured

The most recent nationwide surveillance data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show increasing trends in reported gonorrhea, syphilis and congenital syphilis cases from 2017 to 2021.

During Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) Awareness Week (April 9-15), the Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) is providing fact-based, practical guidance for sexually active individuals to reduce their risks of infection.

Fact: Young adults and adolescents (ages 15-24) account for about half of all new reported STIs.

All sexually active individuals, particularly young people, should have STI screening and prompt treatment (if infected) as part of their routine medical care. Being comfortable with a health care provider, and having frank, honest conversations about sexual activity, is an important first step in accessing appropriate care. “STIs can affect future fertility in males and females, and increase the risk of other severe health complications,” explained Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein. “We need to get younger adults and adolescents invested in accessing appropriate STI testing and connecting with treatment if needed.” 

Fact: STIs are preventable.

“Safer sex practices, like condom use, and STI treatment are important ways to prevent STI transmission,” said Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein.

ECDOH offers Expedited Partner Therapy (EPT), also called Every Partner Treated. This service provides prescription treatment to the partners of individuals who have been diagnosed with chlamydia, gonorrhea or trichomoniasis, without those partners having to be seen by a medical professional. Patients start the EPT process by calling the ECDOH Sexual Health Center at 716-858-4EPT. A public health nurse screens the patient for eligibility, and dispenses fast, free medication for their partner(s) by mail or for pickup at the Jesse Nash Health Center at 608 William Street in Buffalo. “We want to remind Erie County residents about these free medications through our EPT program,” Dr. Burstein explained. “EPT eliminates the barrier of making an in-person medical visit, and timely medication use can reduce the risk of re-infection for the patient.”

Fact: Many STIs have no symptoms.

The only way to know about an STI is to get tested. Testing and treatment are critical to protect a person’s health and prevent transmission to others. For confidential STI screening, HIV and hepatitis C testing, or any additional comprehensive sexual health care services, contact the ECDOH Sexual Health Center at (716) 858-7687.


Fact: All STIs are treatable, and some can be cured.

About 20% of the U.S. population has an STI. “There are treatments available for all STIs, and many can be cured,” said Dr. Burstein. “It is a priority for public health to raise awareness about the availability and access for these treatments, and what measures individuals can take to protect their sexual health.”


Erie County Department of Health, Sexual Health Center: 

ECDOH, Expedited Partner Therapy: or 716-858-4EPT

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Sexually Transmitted Infections:


All STIs can be treated, and some can be cured.
Todas las ITS se pueden tratar, y algunas se pueden curar
Get yourself tested for sexually transmitted infections