Rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in North Carolina rise for the first time in more than a decade, mirroring a national trend.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 2018 STI numbers are jumping quickly across the nation with North Carolina ranking 8th nationwide in number of cases. Gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis are the greatest offenders with almost 1,100 cases of syphilis alone.
“It is estimated that there are 20 million new STDs in the U.S. each year, and half of these are among young people ages 15 to 24 years,” according to the CDC report which notes that syphilis rates are increasing after nearly 75 years in decline.
Yvonne Torres, HIV/STD Program Manager for Wake County (Raleigh) North Carolina noted the same trend.
“I am happy that we are seeing lower HIV transmissions,” she said. “But it’s almost as if younger adults don’t understand how serious other STDs can be.”
Torres noted that condom use and other safe-sex options that were the topic of many public health education campaigns in the 1980s and 1990s now are decreasing because many people mistakenly believe the threat has “passed.”
In fact, a recent report placed Raleigh tenth in the nation for new STIs. This trend looks to be the next obstacle to cross to improve the sexual health of North Carolinians.
I'm a recovering journalist now living a Renaissance life working as a writer & political strategist. I also am the mom to 2 children, one of whom has autonomic dysfunction & Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder, I write about politics and healthcare in North Carolina.