STDs increase again in Michigan

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Mich. (WJMN) — In 2018, combined cases of syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia reached an all-time high in the United States.

It’s according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People who are sexually active are encouraged to get tested regularly to help stop the spread of these sexually transmitted diseases.

Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis cases all increased last year in Michigan.

“Many infected people are unaware of their status which allows them to unknowingly pass it to their partners,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “All sexually active individuals should speak to their health care provider about regular testing so they can get proper treatment and prevent the spread of disease.”

According to a press release from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the state has experienced between 45,000 and 51,000 cases of chlamydia annually since 2008, and in 2018 reports increased under 1 percent to just over 51,000. Gonorrhea cases dropped nearly by half from 2008 to 2014 but have climbed 70 percent since then including a 10 percent jump in 2018 to 16,922 cases. Reports of syphilis had dropped following an outbreak in 2013 but jumped 36 percent in 2018 to 654 cases.

Most of these increases are being seen in adolescents, African American men and women, and men who have sex with men.

STDs often cause symptoms in men, including burning upon urination, discharge, rashes or sores. In most female cases there are no symptoms. Syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia can be treated with antibiotics. However, if left untreated, the individual can pass on the infection even if there are no symptoms.

Undiagnosed and untreated syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia can lead to severe adverse health effects that include infertility, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth in infants and increased HIV risk.

For more information, visit Michigan.gov/hivstd.

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