KIMT News 3 – A month long initiative by the state of Iowa looks to address the growing number of sexually transmitted diseases.
Nearly 20 million new sexually transmitted infections occur in the United States every year.
In Iowa over the past two years, syphilis cases have risen 450 percent growing from just 31 cases to 170 by early this year.
Public health specialists say it’s no longer an issue pertaining to just young people, older adults are just as much at risk.
“They didn’t even think about HIV so a lot of times you see these adults that got married as young adults, they’ve been in a monogamous relationship and then they get divorced and they find themselves single again and they’re not thinking about what’s out there now,” said Betty Krones, Disease Prevention Specialist with Cerro Gordo County Department of Health.
The Cerro Gordo Department of Public Health offers free testing for those living in the county and also offers free condoms for visitors.
Betty also says social media is contributing to a lot of these cases since more people are beginning their relationships online without considering any possible risks.
“There’s a lot of people that are meeting through social media and they are assuming that the people they are meeting are safe and uninfected and that’s typically not the case. That’s where a lot of the STDs are coming in,” said Krones.
Regular testing, even when symptoms are not present, is important because some STDs have few outward signs like chlamydia.
For more information on STD Awareness Month, please visit CDC’s web page at:
Information on testing locations can be found at: