Fresno County in Top 10 for new STD cases, report says

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. - There's an uptick of sexually transmitted diseases across the state. Fresno County once again, ranking high on the list.

According to a new report released by the California Department of Public Health.

Local healthcare officials we spoke with said they're not sure why there's been such a big an increase, but say they continue to educate and encourage patients about the importance of getting tested.

More than 300,000 cases of Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis were reported in California last year, that's a 45 percent increase compared to five years ago. 

For all three - Fresno County ranks in the top ten.

"It's so sad that it's happening, because they're so easy to treat," Mary Mclain, a doctor at Clinica Sierra Vista in Fresno, said.

She said many don't realize STDs -- when untreated -- can cause serious health problems.

"In women it can lead to a prolong infection that can go throughout their pelvis and can eventually make so that they become infertile," Dr. Mclain said.

State health officials said there were 30 stillbirths due to Congenital Syphilis, in 2017.

Dr. Mclain said she sees a lot of young people. More than 2,400 cases of Chlamydia and Gonorrhea were reported between the ages of 15 to 24.

She said many clinics offer help for free.

"There's a program called Family Pact that helps to prevent unwanted pregnancies but can also check for STDs and get you treated," Dr. Mclain said.

She said there's a stigma when it comes to STDs. 

Dr. Mclain said embarrassment prevents many from coming forward and getting tested.

"Just be open about it and talk about it so that we can be treated and prevent all of these things," she said.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation is now putting up billboards like this over the next two weeks in cities like LA and Oakland to raise awareness.

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