Talk to a healthcare provider and your partner(s) about prevention and lowering risk.
Get yourself and your partner(s) tested.
Get treatment if needed. Support is available.
The Erie County Department of Health provides free and private testing, treatment and counseling for sexually transmitted infections (STI) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
- To make an appointment, call 814-451-6700
Some STI do not have symptoms. Testing results can help determine appropriate care and treatment if needed. To help you decide if you should get tested, take this online quiz.
To find other locations near you that offer free and private testing, visit
One way to prevent STIs is to use condoms. Find locations that provide free condoms in Erie County:
PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is medicine to prevent getting HIV from sex. HIV can cause acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), a condition that interferes with the body’s ability to fight infections. Find PrEP in Erie County:
- Erie County HIV Task Force (free condoms, PrEP and other resources)
HIV & acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)
STIs in Erie County
As the numbers of people living with an STI increase, so does the chance of getting one yourself. In Erie County, compared to other health incidents, it is actually more probable to get an STI than to get bitten by a pet dog or cat.
Because of the way certain STIs spread, your exposure is not limited to the person you are intimate with at the time. If you have more than one partner, and each of those partners has the same number of partners as you have, your potential exposure to STIs increases exponentially. For instance, if you have two partners, your exposure is to three people. If you have five partners, your exposure is to 31 people. Viral STIs, such as herpes and HIV, are chronic diseases that are persistent lifelong and figure into this equation.
Certain groups are more at risk for STIs
Females are more often infected than males. In Erie County, females account for roughly three quarters of the chlamydia cases. Gonorrhea incidence rates are 25 times higher for the African-American population compared with the white population.
The good news is that both chlamydia and gonorrhea are easily cured with an antibiotic; the bad news is many people go untreated because they don’t notice any symptoms. Prolonged infections can cause scarring of tissues and even prevent young people from having children later in life when they desire a family.