Regional Public Journalism
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Sexually Transmitted Diseases Rise Across the Northwest, Nationally

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Cases of gonorrhea are up in Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

The top three nationally reported STDs are chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis and they are all on the rise in the Northwest and across the nation.

Two weeks ago, Idaho’s Panhandle Health District reported a 280 percent increase in gonorrhea. It’s also on the rise in Washington—up 13 percent in the last three years. And Oregon has seen cases of the disease, known colloquially as “the clap” more than triple from just over 1,200 to 4,300 in the last 10 years.

Washington state Department of Health STD Controller Mark Aubin said STDs are occurring more in men, but it's men are who also getting screened more.

Aubin said gonorrhea is also developing a resistance to antibiotic treatment. He added that fewer people may be using condoms.

“I don’t think they are as popular as they used to be and I think people need to use them more often,” Aubin said. “They still work.”

Chlamydia and syphilis are also on the rise in all three states. Those numbers reflect a national trend.

The majority of cases reported to the CDC occurred among men. More than half the cases of STDs reported across the US occurred in adults between the ages of 20 and 29.