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Rising STD rates prompt state health officials to urge testing

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

State health officials are urging Michiganders to be tested for several sexually transmitted diseases.

Until recently, Michigan has seen a slow decline in chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis cases. But a new report shows cases of all three STDs spiked last year. Chlamydia cases are up 8%. Gonorrhea jumped 20%.  Syphilis rose 28%.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says a majority of the increases occurred among adolescents, African-American men and women, and men who have sex with other men.

The department is urging regular testing to reduce spreading of the STDs.

“Many infected people are unaware of their status which allows them to unknowingly pass on the disease,” said Dr. Eden Wells, MDHHS chief executive. “To slow the transmission of STDs, regular screening is encouraged for all sexually active individuals. Talk with your healthcare provider about testing or seek services at a local health department clinic.”

The department says screening and prompt treatment are critical to protect a person’s health and prevent transmission to others.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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