Pennsylvania cities named some of the highest in the U.S. with rising STI rates

Pennsylvania cities named some of the highest in the U.S. with rising STI rates

Adagio Health combats the STI epidemic in PA by providing easy STI testing and treatment

Pittsburgh, PA (July 24, 2023) – Annual exams weren’t the only appointments people skipped in 2020. STIs, or sexually transmitted infections, have sharply risen in the United States since 2014 according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, and in even greater numbers over the last two years. With some calling the recent rise in cases an epidemic, the CDC states STIs are disproportionately affecting people under 25, minority racial and ethnic groups, and the LGBTQ+ community – with a large spike seen in 2021 and more than 2.5 million cases of STIs reported.

“It's all about the power of awareness,” said Natalie Miller, Adagio Health’s Vice President of Clinical Operations. “We quit talking about syphilis in 1949 and now we are seeing numbers like we haven't seen in more than 30 years. It’s the sleeping monster that woke up."

The COVID-19 pandemic didn’t help these numbers as more and more people had disruptions to STI/STD-related prevention, care, and treatment, according to the CDC. This led to STIs going untreated and spreading through more partners as relationships shifted throughout the year. Often, a person may not even know they have an STI because many infections present asymptomatically.

STIs left untreated can have significant negative outcomes – such as pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, damage to organs, and severe pregnancy complications – which is why testing is so important for every patient that visits a health center – and not just those considered to be at higher risk.

“In recent conferences, I’ve urged clinicians to get away from risk-based testing,” said Natalie. “Think about it - in your mind, what does someone with an STI or HIV look like? What do you think of when you imagine who is at risk? Our biases can lead to risk-based testing, an obstacle to identifying disease.”

Cities in Pennsylvania like Philadelphia and Erie have some of the highest reported STI rates in the country and state. The Adagio Health Medical Office in Erie is acutely aware of the STI epidemic as the Eric County Department of Health reported the highest number of syphilis cases in 2022 since 1990. Syphilis can have devastating consequences if left untreated; the STI can damage your heart, brain, eyes, other organs, and even lead to death over time with no treatment, according to the CDC.

The Department of Health and Human Services recently released the first-ever “STI Federal Implementation Plan,” which is a new plan outlining federal actions to reduce the burden of STIs in the U.S. through 2025, according to a press release from the HHS.

Actions from the plan include:
  • Prevent new STIs
  • Improve the health of people by reducing adverse outcomes of STIs
  • Accelerate progress in STI research, technology, and innovation
  • Reduce STI-related health disparities and health inequities
  • Achieve integrated, coordinated efforts that address the STI epidemic
All Adagio Health Medical Offices offer STI testing and treatment, a service that is extremely important if you are sexually active, especially during a time when STIs are on the rise in PA cities. For both men and women, STI testing at Adagio Health is judgement-free, quick, and easy. In Uniontown and Seneca, Adagio Health Medical Offices have innovative Binx technology that allows for patients to receive STI test results in 30 minutes, allowing them to get treatment and stop the spread of STIs that same day.

And while Adagio Health has long offered testing for Hepatitis C, they are now also offering treatment for Hep C as well – making it even easier for patient to receive the care they need, without having to visit additional providers.

Adagio Health also tests for HIV and offers PrEP, a medication that reduces the risk of HIV through sexual activity up to 99%. Free testing is available for eligible patients, and most services are low or no cost. Adagio Health accepts most insurances and Medicaid, with same-day appointments available at all nine medical offices. Appointments can now be made online – get tested and know your risk today.

Find an Adagio Health Medical Office near you.