Keeping in line with national numbers, Iowa state health officials have reported an increase in some sexually transmitted infections (STI).
According to 2018 data from the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), 4839 gonorrhea cases were reported, representing an 28.3 percent increase from 2017.
It is unclear if the increases are due to increased access to testing, increased transmission or both.
In addition to gonorrhea, Iowa also saw an increase in chlamydia infections (5.8 percent); however, saw a slight decrease in syphilis cases (1.7 percent).
In February, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported increases in the use of injection drugs, methamphetamine and heroin among persons who have recently acquired syphilis. Data indicate a similar trend in Iowa. The number of individuals diagnosed with these early stages of syphilis who reported having used methamphetamine more than doubled from 2016-2018. These data suggest a connection between drug addiction and STIs.
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