Recent reports from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services have shown that STD case rates in the state are reaching record highs. Mirroring the rest of the United States, Michigan is seeing a rise in the number of cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea ,and syphilis. Cases of these STDs seem to be highest among young adults.
In the state of Michigan chlamydia rose by 9% in the last year. Gonorrhea has risen 22%. Syphilis has increased by 29%. The highest number of increases were in men and women between the ages of 20 and 24.
Some health officials in the state are citing a lack of sexual health education and an increase in the number of dating apps young people are using as the cause for the increased number of STDs. Others claim that the rise in reported cases is simply due to access to testing. Since more people in the state have access to health insurance after the Affordable Care Act was passed, they are being screened more often. Since more people are being screened, more instances of infection are being found.
Chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis are all curable infections. They are always treated with antibiotics. Often, these infections will not show any obvious signs or symptoms. For this reason, STD testing is the best way to determine if you are currently infected with an STD. Only after being diagnosed can you be treated.
There are several things you can do to protect yourself from STDs and HIV. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the use of latex condoms to help deter the spread of STDs and HIV. Additionally, having an open and honest conversation with your partner about your sexual history can help to inform you both about your risks.
The CDC recommends that all sexually active people between the ages of 13 and 64 should be tested at least once in their lifetime for STDs and HIV. There are many convenient and affordable options for STD testing in MIchigan. If you are concerned that you may have been exposed to and STD, you should get tested.