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June 18, 2019

STDs On the Rise Nationally; Jackson County Sees Increase

The statistics from the CDC have concluded that sexually transmitted diseases have made a dramatic incline in 2015.

Gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis, the three most common Sexually Transmitted Diseases in this country, have been on the rise for the past few years. Gonorrhea and chlamydia cases have risen between 2013 and the present; after a time when those diseases were on a decline.

Chlamydia, the most common of the three, had 1.4 million cases found in the U.S. in 2014, which is 456 people per 100,000. There were reportedly 350,000 cases of gonorrhea and 20,000 cases of syphilis. Syphilis can cause serious health issues including blindness, while chlamydia can permanently damage a woman’s reproductive organs. The report revealed that the highest rate of chlamydia and gonorrhea cases were in people between 15 and 29 years of age. Most syphilis cases were in people 20 to 29 years old. The highest rate of syphilis is among homosexual men.

Melissa McKnight with the Jackson County Health Department stated in an email to WRGC Radio that clinic providers have seen a sharp increase. She says it is important to remember that many Sexually Transmitted Infections have no signs or symptoms so the Health Department recommends you should get tested if you have had unprotected sex, have a new partner (or more than one partner), or for any reason you are worried that you might have been exposed to an STI.

Jackson County Health Department provides confidential STI counseling and testing daily.  Most services are free of charge and do not require parental permission for minors.

Many theories speculate that the social media movement and the rise in “hook up” apps such as Tinder and OkCupid have helped boost the rate of STDs.

McKnight said, “December 1st is World AIDS Day—a great reminder to get tested.”

 

About The Author

Andy has worked in broadcasting around Western North Carolina over the last 17 years. He serves as the Operations Manager and Program Director for WRGC and WBHN. “I’ve been with the crew here at Five Forty Broadcasting since the idea of bringing the station back to Jackson County at 540-AM. I feel a personal connection with community radio and the area”. In the past, Andy has worked with iHeart Media and Sky Country Broadcasting. He resides in Haywood County.

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