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California: HIV Testing Down, Positive Cases Up in San Mateo County

February 3, 2011

San Mateo County Health System's STD/HIV Program has released its fourth-quarter report, which shows figures the department views as "normal." "There's nothing alarming," said county STD/HIV Program Director Matt Geltmaker.


Chlamydia was the most prevalent STD, with 1,923 cases reported to the county last year. Though this represents an increase of 220 cases over 2009, it is still 86 below the 2008 level. Rates for pelvic inflammatory disease, syphilis, and gonorrhea declined from 2008 to 2009 but are now up close to their prior levels in most cases. Hepatitis B and C have been on the rise since 2008, with nine and 187 cases reported, respectively.

Though fewer people tested for HIV last year, the county logged 64 new HIV cases, compared to 57 in each of the prior two years. The report showed the majority of HIV testing was not performed at the county's main STD clinic but at other facilities in the area.

"The STD clinic that we run is only open for two four-hour slots a week ... as opposed to other county clinics that are open five days a week," Geltmaker explained.

Geltmaker said the county continues to prioritize outreach to those at high risk for STDs, particularly men who have sex with men. "Whenever there is outreach performed, we target these high-risk populations," he said.

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Excerpted from:
San Francisco Examiner

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