The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) reports there were 31,779 cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis diagnosed in 2017, an increase from 29,716 reported in 2016.
The most significant increase was found in the number of syphilis cases with an increase of 36.5 percent in one year. Reports indicate an increase of nearly 20 percent in the number of gonorrhea cases. Cases of chlamydia increased as well with a total of 21,752 cases.
Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are curable with antibiotics, yet most cases go undiagnosed and untreated — which can lead to severe health effects including infertility, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth in infants, and increased HIV risk. Prior studies suggest a range of factors may contribute to STD increases, including socioeconomic factors like poverty, stigma and discrimination; and drug use.
To reduce the spread of STDs, health officials encourage regular testing as part of a person’s regular health care routine. Many cases go untreated because they are undiagnosed. To help prevent contracting an STD, it is important to have protected sex, using a new condom for every sexual encounter every time. Reducing the number of sexual partners and avoiding the use of shared needles also is important.
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