Wicomico County health officials are worried by the rising rates of bacterial STDs in the area. They site a number of possible factors for the high rates: the three colleges, the nearby correctional facility, and the extra traffic from intersecting routes.
In 2017, there were 646 chlamydia cases in Wicomico County, at a rate of 627.7 per 100K people, above Maryland’s rate of 552.1. The gonorrhea and (primary and secondary) syphilis rates were 291.5 and 1.9.
Health officials urge sexually active individuals to always use protection and to be tested often, even if they are not experiencing any symptoms. Most STDs are asymptomatic in the early stages, but they can lead to irreversible damage on the body if left undetected and untreated. And, of course, they can still be passed on to others.
The Salisbury University’s Student Health Center also joined the awareness campaign, handing out vouchers for free STD testing, giving talks in residence halls, educating athletes during physicals, and other activities.
The Wicomico County Family Planning Clinic, on West Carroll St, provides STI testing, as does the Center for Women’s Health on Salisbury Blvd. Salisbury University Health Services provides STD testing to students at a low cost.