TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) Southern Idaho health officials are warning people to practice safer sex amid a rise in sexually transmitted disease locally and nationally. According to the South Central Public Health District, many sexually transmitted disease rates this year have already outpaced the number of cases from last year. SCPHD says the Center for Disease Control reported a steep increase in STD cases nationwide.

Some STD’s are curable, unfortunately there are cases that aren’t treated properly, are undiagnosed, or go untreated, which could account for some of the increase we have seen this year,” said Christi Dawson-Skuza, R.N. and Epidemiologist with the SCPHD, in a prepared statement. “If left untreated, bacterial STD’s, chlamydia and gonorrhea, can cause long-term health problems like infertility, in both men and women, and pelvic inflammatory disease in women.

According to the CDC, close to 2.3 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis were reported in the U.S. last year, which it says surpassed the infection rates of 2016 by 200,000. The health district says that gonorrhea is the fastest rising with 27 cases diagnosed during a period last year to 82 cases reported this year. During the same time period HIV went from 8 cases to 11 cases. The only reported STD to see a slight drop was chlamydia, down from 485 to 466 cases. SCPHD says people should practice safer sex by using condoms and visit a health care provider for STD testing after sex with new partners.

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