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STD Rates on the Rise: Test • Talk • Treat • Prevent

By Renay Rouse

September 18, 2018

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) may be difficult to talk about, but if left untreated, they can cause serious health problems. According to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the diagnosis of STDs is on the rise in the United States. Between 2013 and 2017, CDC data shows combined diagnosis rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis have increased by 31 percent.

Locally, Martin County STD rates are varied. Between 2013 and 2017, Martin County saw an increase of 31 percent in chlamydia cases, a 57 percent increase in syphilis cases, but an 18 percent decrease in gonorrhea.

“The increased rates are troubling.” said Karlette Peck, Health Officer for the Florida Department of Health in Martin County. “Some STDs can have serious consequences such as infertility, if untreated. It’s important that people understand how to protect themselves, feel empowered to ask questions and get tested.”

Effective strategies for reducing STDs include abstinence, condom use and having fewer partners. More information is available here: Prevention - STD Information from CDC.

The Florida Department of Health in Martin County will host a series of outreach events in October offering free testing for STDs, HIV and Hepatitis C. In addition, a Teen Clinic is available to provide teens with a safe place where their sexual health concerns can be addressed. Information about the Teen Clinic can be found here: Teen Clinic

To learn more about outreach events, HIV/STD testing and treatment, or public health programs and services, log on to www.MartinCountyHealth.com or call: 772-221-4000.