However, a lack of willingness to test — combined with the potential spread of the diseases through illegal drug use — raises more questions than answers.
From 2017 through this year so far, the number of new HIV cases has increased “nearly threefold” in county residents compared to the average number of new diagnoses in previous years, according to a Pennsylvania Department of Health advisory issued earlier this month to local medical offices. The increases in HIV infection were predominantly identified in males with the risk factor of men who have sex with men. According to the state health department, four cases of HIV diagnoses were made in 2013, five in 2014 and three in 2015. Zero cases were reported in 2016, but the count may be incomplete because of reporting delays. The state has not yet shared the exact number of new diagnoses for 2017.
Individuals identified with new HIV infections also had a high rate of co-infection with other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), such as syphilis and gonorrhea.
In nearby Allegheny County, 119 new HIV diagnoses were made in 2013, followed by 128 in 2014, 142 in 2015 and 127 in 2016. In Lawrence County, there were three new cases in 2013, five in 2014, five in 2015 and zero in 2016. The latter also may be incomplete because of reporting delays.
Gonorrhea, like HIV, also can be asymptomatic in some individuals. Women who aren’t diagnosed and treated can become infertile.
Patients also have told physicians at Premier Women’s Health that having “sex friends” or utilizing social media dating apps, such as Tinder and Snapchat, may have increased the issue. Then when individuals come to an appointment, they opt out of getting STD testing.
“I think a lot of patients maybe just don’t want a gynecological exam,” DiCenzo said.
In addition, Fisk said when patients have an STD, they risk a higher chance of contracting HIV if exposed to it. Individuals with HIV who also have another STD are at higher risk of spreading it.”
Is anybody surprised considering Beaver Falls is home to a sex club? Visit any swinger’s forum and you will read condoms are rarely used, because bareback sex and cream-pies are all the rage. These people use swing clubs, KIK, Tinder, Snapchat, and many other ways to line up NSA sex encounters with strangers.