The Big Apple’s restaurants, bars and nightclubs were still largely closed last summer, but that hasn’t stopped New Yorkers from hanging out with each other.
All five boroughs saw sexually transmitted disease rates return to pre-pandemic levels by July 2020, just a month after the state’s initial lockdown orders were lifted and replaced with social distancing rules which forced most of the other outdoor activities.
Statistics released by the city’s Ministry of Health and Mental Hygiene on Wednesday show that the number of chlamydia and syphilis cases this month has exceeded figures released in July 2019.
The growth of syphilis has been so pronounced that 2020 has seen more cases than 2019 for the whole year, even with the closing of spring.
HIV and gonorrhea also faced stiff competition, as case rates approached their 2019 levels in July 2020, the DOH said.
DOH data for the whole year shows that the total number of chlamydia and gonorrhea cases declined in 2020 compared to 2019 – but that analysis includes months of lockdown.
Officials were unable to determine exactly when the STD outbreak began – or whether the massive drop in new cases in spring 2020 was due to New Yorkers having less sex or simply giving up on drugs. testing during the pandemic.
“We know that the transmission of sexually transmitted infections continued throughout the COVID-19 public health emergency, but many New Yorkers did not request routine tests last year,” he said. Health Commissioner Dr Dave Chokshi said in a statement urging New Yorkers to start getting tested. again.
“STIs can cause long-term harm and I encourage New Yorkers to speak with their health care providers about sexual health services,” he added.
The Department of Health offers free, discounted testing and treatment at clinics around the city for teens over 12 and adults in New York City. Locations and details are available at https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/services/sexual-health-clinics.page