Idaho county concerned over STD rates
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Sexually transmitted disease (STD) rates are on the rise in some areas, raising concern among health officials. For example, The Boise Weekly, an Idaho news source, recently published an article discussing how Idaho's District No. 4, which covers Ada, Boise, Elmore and Valley Counties, has had 21 confirmed cases of syphilis already in 2012, compared to 11 cases in all of 2011.
"Right now, we're up 200 percent," said Sarah Correll, Central District Health Department (CDHD) epidemiologist, quoted by the news source. "When you consider that each of the confirmed cases is typically linked to multiple partners, it grows exponentially. And, yes, if it continues at this rate, it looks like we could be up 400 percent from last year."
The majority of syphilis cases in the area are found in men between the ages of 25 and 45. This is interesting, because according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), half of all STD cases each year are found in individuals aged 15 to 24. However, the CDC also states that in 2008, men who have sex with men accounted for 63 percent of primary and secondary syphilis cases in the U.S. This could explain why men account for such a high number of syphilis cases in this area.
The news source also spoke to Lorraine Fortunati, preventive health services coordinator with the CDHD, who said that the symptoms of syphilis are often painless, so if a person does not go to an STD testing center in Idaho soon enough, they may not notice that they have the infection until it reaches the second stage.
Daniel Allen, youth outreach director with CDHD, told the information provider that many myths still prevail regarding STDs. This is why it's important to educate both teens and adults about the dangers of these diseases and how they can be transmitted.
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