COVID testing blitz undermined screening, fight against STDs

WASHINGTON (AP) — Public health officials are struggling to catch up on screening for sexually transmitted infections after last year’s unprecedented COVID-19 testing push. The pandemic sapped resources and supplies away from already-strained efforts to track infections like chlamydia and syphilis. The diseases have been on the rise for years and can quickly spread with few signs or symptoms. Health experts are skeptical that sexual activity slowed, despite stay-at-home orders and social distancing. They point to record use of dating apps and websites. Now clinics are trying to make up for lost time with new technologies, including online consultations and home-based testing.