Connecticut was ranked one of the states with the lowest rates of sexually transmitted diseases, according to a recently released report.
A surveillance report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked into cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis in all 50 states.
Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Raul Pino said while Connecticut ranked in the top 10 for lowest rates of STDs, there is still a “significant health challenge” in this state.
“With approximately 20 million new sexually transmitted infections (including HIV) occurring every year nationally, half among our younger population, it is imperative to continue our efforts to increase STD screening and to identify and focus on at-risk populations,” Pino said in a statement on Friday.
Pino added that “the health impacts on those infected with these preventable diseases, STDs inflict significant health care costs on individuals and the community at large.”
“Last year alone, STDs nationally accounted for $16 billion in health care costs,” Pino said.
According to the report released this week, there has been an increase in cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis nationally in 2015, the CDC said.
The report states there were 13,126 cases of chlamydia, 2,088 cases of gonorrhea and 92 cases of primary and secondary syphilis in Connecticut. When compared with 2014 statistics, there was a decrease in the number of cases of chlamydia (13,590 cases) and gonorrhea (2,390 cases). However, there was an increase in cases of infectious syphilis (84 cases) in Connecticut.
The CT DPH said while STDs are lower in the state when compared with others, officials said these “diseases impact certain populations disproportionately.” In Connecticut and on a national level, the majority of chlamydia and gonorrhea cases occur with women and men less than 25 years old while the main group affected are men who have sex with men.
“It is important for people to know their risk and to get themselves tested,” Dr. Lynn Sosa, who is the coordinator of the sexually transmitted diseases program at DPH, said in a statement on Friday.
Sosa said chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis “can be asymptomatic,” however “still be transmitted to others and cause long term health complications.”
“Fortunately, these are all infections that can be treated when caught early,” Sosa said.
CDC and DPH officials are encouraging people to do what they can to “protect themselves from contracting these diseases.” People are urged to use “condoms, either male or female condoms, correctly and consistently every time.” Couples were suggested “to get tested at the beginning of a new relationship.”
To read the full report, click here.
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