In a recent health report released by the Jackson County Health and Human Services Department in Jackson County, Oregon, it was discovered that three STDs have reached record high rates in the area. Chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis cases have all increased significantly since 2016. Local health officials have cited numerous reasons for the increase in these infections including department funding issues, subpar safe sex education and a lack of access to regular STD testing.
Chlamydia cases increased by 24% in the studied time frame. Gonorrhea has risen 22.5% ,and syphilis has increased by a staggering 55%. This reflects the national trend of increasing STDs. Syphilis, thought to be nearly wiped out only a few decades ago, has been making a major comeback throughout the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have noted several outbreaks of the infection in multiple regions of the country.
As these bacterial infections increase, there is also an increased risk of coinfection with other STDs and HIV.
“We see an increase in those three, it does put individuals at risk for getting HIV as well,” said Tanya Phillips, a health promotion manager for Jackson County Health and Human Services.
Phillips went on to state that many departments in the state of Oregon are having serious issues with funding for STD and HIV prevention and education. Luckily, Jackson County will be receiving two grants to help their county with outreach and education in the coming year. Health officials hope this will deter the spread of these infections in the future.
Still, the best ways to prevent STD infection are to practice safe sex and for sexually active people to get tested regularly. The CDC recommends the use of latex condoms when engaging in sexual intercourse. There are many options for STD testing in Oregon and elsewhere. Since many times symptoms of an STD will not be obvious, testing can be the best way to catch an infection early and prevent long term damage to your sexual health.