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Category: Sexually Transmitted Diseases
In recent years, state health departments were able to wrangle rates of various sexually transmitted diseases down to manageable levels through aggressive education and STD testing campaigns. However, evidence suggests that some states may be losing these gains.
For example, the South Dakota State Health Department recently released statistics on gonorrhea infections in the state. The Associated Press reports that officials are calling the numbers the highest in a generation.
The state recorded 468 new gonorrhea infections in 2010, the most recent year for which data is available. For comparison, 573 infection occurred in 1987, the most of any year on record.
State epidemiologist Lon Kightlinger told the news source that high rates of risky sexual behavior are largely to blame for the elevated numbers. Furthermore, reluctance on the part of the partners of infected individuals to seek STD testing plays a role.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that national gonorrhea rates dropped more than 74 percent in the 1970s following the implementation of prevention programs. However, the infection rate has been creeping back up in recent years.
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