Rates of sexually transmitted diseases continue to rise in Washington

Newly released data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that the rate of sexually transmitted diseases is on the rise in Washington state.

According to the CDC, a growing problem in the state is congenital syphilis in pregnant women. From 2014 to 2018, 23 cases of congenital syphilis were reported compared to only 13 cases reported from 1995 to 2013.

Additionally, rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis have been rising over the last few years, with chlamydia being the most commonly reported STD among women ages 20 to 24 years old.

The Washington State Department of Health encourages women and all sexually active persons to see a doctor if they think they have been exposed to an STD or HIV. The agency said it is working with local public health agencies, community partners and medical care providers to enhance their capacity to diagnose, treat and prevent STDs in order to reduce the spread of the infections.

HIV and STDs are still best prevented through consistent and correct use condoms, a reduction in the number of sex partners and knowing the testing status of sex partners and choosing safer sex practices based on the partner’s status.