Health officials: STD rates at record levels in Washtenaw County; 560 cases of gonorrhea in 2017

Chlamydia and syphilis rates have also increased in recent years


YPSILANTI, Mich. – Washtenaw County health officials say the rates of sexually transmitted diseases in the county are at a record high. 

“If you’re sexually active, it is essential to get tested and get immediate treatment when necessary,” says Heather Vaquera, prevention specialist at the Washtenaw County Health Department. “If your health care provider doesn’t bring up testing, be sure to ask about it.”

Here's more from the Washtenaw County Health Department:

There were 560 cases of gonorrhea in Washtenaw County in 2017 – the highest number of cases in 25 years. Chlamydia and syphilis rates have also increased in recent years. There were 1,701 cases of chlamydia and 43 cases of syphilis in 2017. 

These increases mirror statewide and national trends. There are about 20 million new cases of STDs each year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). About half of these infections are in people between the ages of 15 and 24.

While gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis are preventable and treatable, they can cause serious health problems if left ignored. Understanding risk, abstaining from sex, reducing your number of sexual partners and consistently and correctly using condoms are all effective prevention strategies. 

Local HIV and STD testing providers include the Washtenaw County Health Department, Planned Parenthood, Unified and the Corner Health Center. Many primary health care providers and women's health care providers also offer testing and treatment. 

The Washtenaw County Health Department also provides free condoms and can help with partner notification, treatment and connecting you to resources.

PreP and PEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis and post-exposure prophylaxis, which are prevention options for people at high risk of getting HIV) and vaccinations for hepatitis A, hepatitis B and human papillomavirus virus (HPV) are available as well. Learn more at washtenaw.org/sexualhealth. 


  • Washtenaw County Health Department provides sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing and treatment, HIV testing and counseling, PrEP, pregnancy testing, vaccinations and more. We are located at 555 Towner Street in Ypsilanti. Call 734-544-6840 to schedule an appointment.
  • Planned Parenthood has two locations in the Ann Arbor area. One is located at 3100 Professional Drive near the intersection of Washtenaw and Huron Parkway. The second is on the west side of Ann Arbor, at 2370 West Stadium.
  • UNIFIED - HIV and Beyond (formerly the HIV / AIDS Resource Center (HARC)) is located at 3075 Clark Road in Ypsilanti and can be reached at 734-572-9355.
  • The Corner Health Center provides comprehensive health services to young people age 12 to 25 years and their children. The Corner is located at 47 North Huron Street, Ypsilanti 48197. Visit the Corner Health Center website or call 734-484-3600.


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