NEWSFLASH: Cases of sexually spread diseases on the rise

This NewsFlash is not limited to HIV, but it is extremely important nonetheless.

On Tuesday, government officials stated that the cases of sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise after years of consistent decline. Cases of chlamydia, one of the more common sexually transmitted diseases, are at a record high. According to the CDC, 1.1 million cases of chlamydia were reported in 2007.

Chlamydia can be symptomless and lead to infertility in women. In fact, at least 15,000 women become infertile every year due to untreated chlamydia and gonorrhea infections, says Dr. John M. Douglas Jr., director of the CDC’s Division of STD Prevention.

Officials say that the increase in chlamydia can partly be explained by increased testing and better screening. But these current numbers translate to a rate of 370 cases per 100,000 people in 2007, which is an increase of 7.5% from 2006.

However, the reported cases are just a part of the picture. Health officials believe that approximately 2.8 million Americans get chlamydia each year.

Many people don't take chlamydia seriously because it is curable through a regimen of antibiotics. But contrary to popular belief, it is something to pay attention to. As mentioned above, it can cause infertility in women if left untreated. Also, when you have an STD/STI like chlamydia or gonorrhea, it makes you more susceptible to other infections, such as HIV. So if you are sexually active, please make sure that you are being tested for all STIs, not just HIV. Encourage your partner(s) to do the same. You want to ensure that both of you are maintaining physical and sexual health to avoid complications later on.