El Paso residents are urged to practice safer sex methods by the Department of Public Health as cases of sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise.

The Department of Public Health released state numbers that show a significant increase in chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis between 2010 and 2018.

  • In 2010 there were 4,351 Chlamydia cases reported compared to 5,699 cases reported in 2018.
  • In 2010, 828 Gonorrhea cases were reported compared to 1,137 reported in 2018.
  • And in 2010 only 33 Syphilis cases were reported compared to 185 in 2018.

Syphilis, in particular, is most concerning because its symptoms are similar to other diseases and if left untreated, it may lead to an infection of the nervous system that can lead to meningitis, nerve problems, and even blindness. Not only that, but syphilis can also be transmitted from a pregnant mother to her unborn child which can lead to having a stillbirth or infant death in up to 40% of cases. If the child survives and is born infected with the disease a series of serious complications can occur including bone deformities, severe anemia, brain and nerve problems, such as convulsions, blindness or deafness.

Officials are asking that sexually active adults practice safer sex methods and that anyone who is showing symptoms should reach out to their doctor or visit the DPH CommUnity Care Center for testing and treatment which provides a sliding fee scale based on a patient’s income. Appointments can be made by calling 915-212-0200.

For more information visit EPHealth