We are living in record breaking times for the number of sexually transmitted disease cases reported in the United States.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Sexual Transmitted Disease Surveillance Report, more than 2 million new cases of gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia were reported in 2016.
More than 1.6 million of those cases were of chlamydia. 470,000 were from gonorrhea and over 28,000 cases were from primary and secondary syphilis.
Kevin Bator is the sexual wellness program coordinator at Michigan State University. He says more and more students are getting tested for STDs.
“I would say it’s (the clinic) a quite helpful resource for them,” said Bator. “I think it’s a lot more convenient for them to utilize what’s close to them and on campus rather than providing more barriers for them to go through.”
Bator believes education is a driving force behind the rise in students getting tested.
“Going into classrooms on campus and having that outreach and discussions about testing, partners and past experiences and what that means for their safer sex in the future,” said Bator.
Numbers from the CDC come as no surprise at the Ingham County Health Department. They say numbers have been rising for years in the county.
“It seems to be that until people get alarmed they don't think that it’s anything that they really need to do anything about it,” said Linda Vail, Ingham County Health Officer. “In my world I need people to get alarmed because we need people to start paying attention and doing something about it.”
2,012 cases of chlamydia, 674 cases of gonorrhea, and 14 primary and secondary syphilis cases were reported in Ingham County in 2016.
Those numbers are up from years past and all of which may often show no symptoms.
It may be embarrassing to talk about, however overall health comes first.
“Being able to talk to your children about condoms and being able to talk to your teenagers and children about sex and safe sex is very important,” said Vail. “I think the more that we can do that then maybe it will become less and less uncomfortable to talk about.”
If buying condoms at the store is uncomfortable for you and you live in Ingham County, the health department has a perfect solution for you.
It's called the ‘Choices Not Chances’ program where the health department can send you condoms in the mail using an unmarked envelope.
There are also several pick up locations for the envelopes around the greater Lansing area.
STD and testing brochures are included.
Click here for more information on the ‘Choices Not Chances’ program.
889 cases of Chlamydia, 63 cases of Gonorrhea, and 3 primary and secondary syphilis cases were reported in Jackson County in 2016.