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Alaska's STD rates are rising once again

Category: Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Almost every part of the U.S. has experienced rises and falls in sexually transmitted disease rates at some point in time. However, some groups experience more STD swings than others, and people who live in these areas need to be sure to use STD testing services often to make sure that they have not contracted an infection during an upswing in infections. Residents of Alaska are among the population of people who should get tested often, since this state has had many troubles with STDs in the past.

For example, a 2011 article published by Anchorage Daily News stated that Alaska had the highest chlamydia rate in the entire country, and the second-highest gonorrhea rate. While health officials had believed that they had gotten these numbers under control, recent research suggests otherwise.

According to a recent article published by Alaska CBS affiliate KTVA 11, state epidemiologists are finding a rise in chlamydia and gonorrhea rates, despite a two-year decline.

Back on an uptick
The news source explained that after the 2011 report, STD rates went down in the state and continued to do so for the early part of 2012. However, by the end of 2012 and into 2013, the rates were on the rise once again.

"This is concerning. We thought we had gonorrhea on the run, and I don't think we do," Susan Jones, HIV/STD Program Manager with the State of Alaska, told KTVA.

Jones added that testing is critical, and people need to make sure that they are tested often to see if they are STD-free. This is especially true for people who have multiple sexual partners, since having sex with many different people increases individuals' risks of contracting - and spreading - STDs.

Furthermore, it is also important for people to inform all of their sexual partners if they have been diagnosed with an STD, so they can take their health into their own hands.

"Protect yourself, protect your partners. If you are infected, let's get the partners identified and treated," added Jones.

Some people may not get tested for STDs because they are embarrassed to talk to their doctor about this personal sexual issue. If so, they should know that there are waysthey can be anonymously tested for STDs without ever having to step foot into a doctor's office - all they need to do is order a lab test online.

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