STDs on the rise across the nation

(WTNH) — Sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise here in Connecticut and nationwide.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2016, more than two million STD cases were reported.

That’s the highest number ever.

“We’ve been seeing definitely an increase in syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia in our community,” said Robert Bruce, Chief of Medicine at Cornell Scott Hill Health Center in New Haven.

In Connecticut alone, the number of chlamydia cases increased 5.7% in 2016 from the year before.

There was also a 31% increase in gonorrhea cases and a 12% increase in syphilis cases.

It should be noted, experts say the increase is due in part to better screening.

“What we’ve seen is a general rise among risk taking again because most people assume if I have a sexually transmitted infection, it can get treated,” said Bruce.

Nationwide, 1.59 million cases of chlamydia were reported in 2016. Gonorrhea cases were up 18.5 percent last year, and syphilis increased more than 17.6 percent.

“There are changes in social norms around sexual behavior,” said Dr. Laura Willis, Assistant Professor of Health & Strategic Communication at Quinnipiac University.

Experts say it’s important to talk to your partners and healthcare providers about STDs. Though some groups are more affected, anyone who has sex is at risk.

“We’ve seen in recent decades a spike in nursing homes and elderly care facilities because conversations about safe sex just weren’t common,” said Willis.

Experts say many people who have an STD don’t know it and can then spread it to someone else.

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