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STD cases on the rise in Michigan

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Posted at 10:17 AM, Apr 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-12 10:17:33-04

Sexually Transmitted Disease rates are soaring, here in Michigan and across the country.

Health experts say the numbers are reaching record highs.

It's a taboo topic that can make people feel too shy to talk about.

“Specifically we're talking about gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis”, said Katie Macomber from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

State health officials say it's a very important conversation to have with your partner and health care provider.

In the state of Michigan chlamydia rose by nine percent in the last year, gonorrhea is up by 22% and syphilis has increased by 29%.

“We see the highest rates in 20 to 24 year olds”, said Macomber.

Which puts college aged adults at the greatest risk.

A risk some students blame on easy access.

“There's a bunch of different apps that people use to hook up with others”, said MSU student Victoria Wiseman.

Ian Walczak from MSU also agrees.

“I mean I guess the digital hook-up age could kind of be responsible for I”, said Walczak.

State health officials have a different reason for the spike.

“There is a lot more screening going on which is a good thing”, said Macomber.

“When providers screen more and when people have more access to insurance we sometimes find more cases.”

Doctors say diseases like gonorrhea and chlamydia can lie dormant in the female body and not show any symptoms, which can lead to infertility.

"Frequently the symptoms are similar for men and women it's just that women are less likely to have them and they are simply discharge, pain when you urinate and abdominal or pelvic pain”, explained Macomber.

According to the CDC, the best STD prevention practice is abstinence.

You can also reduce your risk through monogamy and protection.

Here’s a list of health departments that offer free STD prevention and treatment resources, like condoms and screenings.

• Ingham County Department of Health and Human Services: (517) 887-4424
• Jackson County Department of Health and Human Services : 517-788-4477 (STD Test $10)
• Barry-Eaton County District Health Department: Barry County: (269) 945-9516, Eaton County: (517) 541-2630