LANSING, Mich. (WLNS )— As pandemic restrictions become more relaxed life is slowly starting to go back to normal.
With most people getting vaccinated, hot vax summer is a thing, and local health experts worry. There is already a rising trend of STDs across the country, and “hot vax summer” could exacerbate the problem.
“STD rates have been going up for approximately 6 years,” said Dr. Alane Laws-Barker of the Sparrow/Ingham County Health Department.
Laws-Barker is the lead obgyn for Sparrow and Ingham county health departments. She says she’s worried the next few months could be terrible for the already rising std rates across the country.
The CDC says std testing went down by 40% during the pandemic on a national scale.
“Some of that could have been due to the fact that there were people that were just afraid to go out and be tested because they were afraid to contract the virus,” said Laws-Barker.
In June, the CDC published a study in the journal of the American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association.
This CDC study looked at the national impact of COVID-19 on STDs in 2020.
The CDC found the most commonly reported STDs in the US in 2019 were chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis.
There were a reported 2.5 million cases.
“We are worried that some people’s desire to get back that time or to come out of that cocoon may cause them to do some risky behaviors, and so we are concerned that the rate of STDs could go even higher.”
Dr. Barker says available treatment was down during the pandemic.
“One of the things that are concerning is that many clinics have decreased staffing and decreased availability of time slots.”
As pandemic restrictions become more relaxed, Dr. Barker reminds us to make appointments and get tested.